Last weekend, the UK celebrated Mother’s Day. The UK Department for International Development (DFID) highlighted the work they support to improve the lives of mothers around the world and engaged advocates for maternal health.
On DFID’s blog, Christy Turlington Burns writes:
For those of us who understand the value of having had a mother to teach, nurture and inspire us, or those of us who know how much our own children rely on us to feed, clothe and encourage them each day, just imagine for a moment what our lives would be without this stability.
If we value our mothers, how can we continue to stand by as a global community and allow others to continue to be undervalued? Especially when hundreds of thousands of women die each year due to preventable complications in pregnancy and childbirth.
Jemima Khan also contributed, writing:
I remember once trekking with a friend in a remote mountain region in northern Pakistan, when we heard crying from inside a wooden hut.
It turned out that a young woman was struggling to give birth alone in an empty and unequipped basic health unit. She had walked there in the late stages of labour, hoping to find help. There was none.
As it happened, the friend I was walking with was a doctor. He managed to operate on the mother with makeshift tools and delivered the baby safely.
The outcome was happy: both mother and baby survived. But the event itself was brutal. There was no anaesthetic or even basic equipment in the hut and I still remember the poor woman screaming and begging, “Qeenchi nahin” meaning, “Not the scissors.” Had we not come across her by chance, both she and her baby would almost certainly have died.
Every day, 1,000 women, like this young Pakistani mother, die in childbirth unnecessarily and 1000 babies are left motherless because of pregnancy-related complications and a lack of access to basic medical care.
Click here to view a photoessay about DFID’s work to promote maternal health.
To learn more about DFID’s Mother’s Day campaign, click here.