I am so happy to be able to be a part of this! As a mother you cannot help but to look at a situation in which children are living in extreme poverty and want to help. Every child is deserving of the opportunity to flourish and live out their dreams. Thankfully, many of our world leaders agree: 14 years ago they adopted a series of goals now known as the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This ambitious initiative included commitments to cut poverty by half, get every child into school, and dramatically reduce child and maternal deaths by 2015. Recent data has shown a significant drop—millions fewer—in the number of people living in extreme poverty than a generation ago, and that most children are completing a primary education. Please visit the MDG 500 website for more information.
Here are some facts that I’d like to share with you before continuing:
• Each day an estimated 800 mothers and 18,000 young children die from largely preventable causes.
• In the time left to the MDG target we need to accelerate progress toward achieving MDG 4.
• More than 1 million babies die on their first and only day of life across the world, and 2.9 million in their first month.
• The newborn crisis is much bigger than we may think, with a staggering 1.2 million stillbirths occurring during childbirth
• More than half of these maternal and under-fives deaths take place in locations beset by a high risk of conflict and/or natural disasters.
• 40 million women give birth without any skilled help – that’s more than 100,000 women every day. Even more dramatically, 2 million women a year are entirely alone when giving birth.
• Investing in mothers works. Maternal deaths and child mortality in the most challenging countries of the world are being dramatically cut when efforts are made to improve services for mothers and children.
• Preventable: We can stop this. Many of these deaths are preventable if the mother-to-be had a trained midwife to help them give birth safely
• Equality: Newborn mortality rates can only be reduced through fairer distribution of essential health services and through universal healthcare access; this means making these more available to the poorest and most marginalised families, as well as to communities living in rural areas
It’s heartbreaking to know that there are so many woman and children fighting to survive and that so many deaths could be prevented with just the right healthcare. Well, August 18 marked the 500 day starting point to meet MDG targets by showing the progress made in each country and also build a sense of urgency around the political action needed to meet MDG4 targets. The UNGA meetings in September where it will highlighted- the urgent need for more trained and skilled health workers critical to saving newborns and mothers as well as the Race for Survival in October with its theme of the “hardest to reach” highlighting the tough living conditions many children face and the lack of access to quality care. Let’s spread the word and bring awareness so that we can get these mothers and children the quality care that they need.