Sept. 19, 2011 -- Every mother in the world wants the same thing: a healthy pregnancy, a safe birth, and a baby who will thrive.
But for millions of moms and babies in developing countries, these basic human rights are out of reach.
Every 90 seconds, around the world, a woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth, while more than 50 million women this year alone will deliver their babies without the aid of a skilled birth attendant.
Even if mom and baby make it through delivery, 1.5 million newborns die within the first 24 hours of life, while as many as 3.3 million babies die before they turn one month old.
The good news is statistics like these are not as daunting or tragic as they seem. We have the knowledge to prevent 90 percent of all maternal deaths, and save the lives of the 1 million babies born stillborn each year.
Connecting moms here in America to help moms worldwide can make a difference.
The Million Moms Challenge has a single goal: to build an at least one-million-member-strong movement of Americans committed to helping mothers and children around the world -- moms here engaged with and helping moms overseas.
Together, Americans who join the Millions Mom Challenge will be part of a vibrant, online community connected around things mothers care about: the right nutrition to support their pregnancies, trained mid-wives to assist in safe deliveries of newborns, and vaccines that allow children to survive to celebrate their first birthdays and beyond.
The Million Moms Challenge is part of ABC News' year-long global health series, "Be the Change: Save a Life," launched last Dec. 17, that has already seen Americans rise to the challenge to fight famine in Somalia, provide education to children in Kenya and outfit the world's poor with eyeglasses to see.
Now, it's about moms. And, now, it's your chance to help.
The Challenge will all lead up to Dec. 16, 2011, one-of-a-kind, one-hour primetime special on maternal health anchored by Diane Sawyer.
The Million Moms Challenge partners include some of the world's most respected NGOs, including African Medical and Research Foundation, CARE, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, GAVI Alliance, mothers2mothers, ONE, Partners in Health, Riders for Health, Save the Children, UN Foundation's Shot@LifeTM campaign, US Fund for UNICEF, White Ribbon Alliance, and WorldVision.
What can you do today?
Visit www.millionmomschallenge.com to find ways, large and small, to make a real impact through simple, inexpensive solutions that make a real difference for mothers and children around the world. You can also take part in the site's live, interactive forum where some of the nation's top mom bloggers will share their stories and ideas through blogs and video posts in real time, with moms and midwives in the developing world.
But don't wait. For the first 100,000 people who sign on to the Million Moms Challenge, Johnson & Johnson will donate $100,000 to some of the world's biggest NGO partners helping moms and babies overseas.
Join ABC News. Be one-in-a-million for moms and babies.