Monday, June 7, 2010

Call to Action

Prakasamma from India passing out white ribbons before an introductory ceremony to remember the women who died.

Precious from South Africa calling to get midwives off of the sidelines.

5:05 am

The Call to Action is to strengthen midwifery as a key component to achieving the Millenium Development Goals 4, 5 and 6. These MDGs are the focus of our symposium. In September, 2000, the Millennium Declaration was ratified by 189 heads of state at the United Nations Millennium Summit. This declaration outlined eight broad goals. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) represent a global commitment by all nations who signed the Declaration to reduce poverty and improve lives. MDGs 4, 5 and 6 pertain to the health of mothers and children.

MDG 4 is: Reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate.

MDG 5 is: Reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio.

MDG 6 is: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV and AIDS.

The goals are powerful and necessary. The World Health Organization, represented here at the symposium, suggests that we need 334,000 more midwives worldwide in order to meet these goals. The White Ribbon Alliance, that draws attention to maternal mortality globally, states that less than half of the worlds childbearing women are attended by a skilled health worker. Please visit their website, and watch their 2 minute movie about birth and death.

Women Deliver begins today with plenary sessions moderated by Christiane Amanpour and Arriana Huffington. Women Deliver is about empowering women and girls, especially in our poorest countries. Studies show that when women's lives improve, the whole society improves. We can not empower women on this level without talking about reproductive health, safe birthing practices, birth control, and sexual health. Midwifery care has been recognized as part of the process to empower women and achieve the MDG goals.

Gera and I ready to roll.

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