by: SARAH BROWN/ Global Patron of White Ribbon Alliance
I’m looking forward to the Million Moms Baby Shower for Global Good Tweetathon tomorrow. You can join the party by following #amillionmoms
Midwife Frances Ganges from White Ribbon Alliance (and on the Board of the International Confederation of Midwives) will be answering questions from moms-to-be from 12pm to 1pm EST/5pm -6pm GMT on @WRAglobal.
Frances has delivered babies all over the world and knows what challenges moms-to-be face in different countries – as well as all the fears and dreams of all new moms. If you have any questions do join in and tweet her @WRAglobal.
White Ribbon Alliance is a network which connects all of us who feel it’s unacceptable that 1,000 women and girls, and 1000s of babies, die needlessly during pregnancy and childbirth every day. It does not have to be like this; we know how to save these women and babies; at least three-quarters of maternal deaths could be prevented, and two-thirds of newborn babies’ lives could be saved, if only women had health workers during childbirth.
Imagine giving birth without a trained medical professional to help you! That’s how it is – still – for half the mothers in Africa. In some countries it’s even higher; in Ethiopia 94% of women give birth alone or without skilled help; in Bangladesh it’s 76%.
In the 40 countries for which data is available, more than two million women give birth completely alone each year. Women and children living in remote areas are least likely to see a health worker, as clinics are too far away and transport is too expensive.
This is why we are also asking #amillionmoms Tweeters tomorrow to tweet about the health worker, doctor or midwife who supported you through your pregnancy and birth.
We all know that mothers are at the heart of families, communities and countries. What’s more, a child with a mother is more likely to be fed, educated and immunised.
This is why maternal and newborn health is at the heart of efforts to reduce global poverty. What we need now is more health workers to save the lives of mothers during pregnancy and childbirth, and their precious newborn babies too. We are now making progress – but there is still a long way to go.
With members in 152 countries and affiliated National Alliances in 15 – Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sweden, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia – White Ribbon Alliance is a global grassroots movement uniting people from all walks of life to advocate for change. Key to this is ensuring all women have access to quality health care before, during and after childbirth.
White Ribbon Alliance and our partners are asking for 3.5 million more health workers, better supported, specifically 350,000 more midwives and 1 million more community health workers. White Ribbon Alliance members at the grassroots are playing a crucial ‘ watchdog’ role, reporting back from developing countries on what funding has reached them – and where and how it is being spent. The White Ribbon Alliance Global Secretariat is then able to amplify these voices and report to the international community, decision makers, parliamentarians and global media about what is really going on.
Please join us at www.whiteribbonalliance.org and add your voice to our global movement to ensure pregnancy and childbirth is safe for all women and newborn babies around the world. You can also donate here.