Our minuscule sized organisation has been working to reduce maternal and newborn mortality in a number of countries since 2005. In my opinion, there isn't the political will to address this tragedy. The wealth is there, but it is not being directed at where it is so badly needed. Nigeria has the highest rates of maternal death, (relative to its population) in the world, yet it is a country with huge natural resources and extremes of wealth.
A "Flagship Report" was launched in 2016 called Leaving No-one Behind. It was "A Critical Path for the first 1,000 days of the SDGs" yet maternal mortality barely gets a mention. Those in positions of influence, need to realise that keeping mothers alive is crucial to achieving so many of the other goals. At least with the MDGs, maternal health had its own goal, number 5. With the SDGs, this tragedy has been subsumed into an overall category, where it can be overlooked.
The latest figures "Estimates by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank and the UN Population Division" have just been published...
SubSaharan Africa continues to bear the greatest burden of maternal deaths. There is no doubt in my mind, that overall poverty will never be solved until maternal mortality is dealt with. The cost to the world is too great to continue losing these mothers at this rate. Why is it continuing to happen?
"Women are not dying of diseases we cannot treat, they are dying because society has decided that they are not worth treating." This is an accurate but shameful reality. We have to ask, if 300,000 men were dying worldwide every year, would something have been done about it? I'll leave you to decide your answer.
I have invented a new word to describe this ongoing tragedy...it is "Woman-slaughter." 99% of these 300,000 deaths are avoidable.
Life for African Mothers,
65, Penarth Rd,
Cardiff CF10 5DL
Reg Charity 1140183
HIFA profile: Angela Gorman is a retired Senior NICU Nurse and is Chair of Life for African Mothers (formerly Hope for Grace Kodindo), a charity based in the UK. Life for African Mothers provides life-saving drugs such as magnesium sulphate and misoprostol to help reduce maternal deaths in developing countries. angelagorman AT aol.com