In North America we are blessed to have access to excellent health care. So when women face complications in labour and delivery, for the most part, she can be helped. This is sadly not the case across many parts of the world, especially where women are poor and vulnerable. In a high income country, fewer than 1 in 3,300 women will die during childbirth. In a low income country, 1 in 41 will die. These deaths are preventable. This is why every year we walk. The Walk to Save a Mother invites you to be an advocate for change by raising your voice to take a stand – and some steps– to change this brutal reality for women in East Africa.
Save the Mothers, a registered Canadian charity, is hosting volunteer-led 5 km Walk to Save Mothers in communities across North America to raise awareness and funds to improve maternal and child health in the developing world. It is open to participants of all ages (those under 16 must have a parent authorize their participation). We are looking for people to both lead and participate in these walks happening through the month of May.
Nearly every two minutes a mother dies from preventable pregnancy and childbirth complications! Those deaths result in a growing number of orphans, whose lives are also at risk. We believe that by saving a mother from preventable death, we are saving the person most likely to ensure the care, education and health of the next generation. Women are also major contributors to their local economies. The high number of maternal deaths in some areas of the world reflects inequities in access to health services, and highlights the gap between rich and poor. Almost all maternal deaths (99%) occur in developing countries. More than half of these deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa and one third occur in South Asia.
Save the Mothers offers two initiatives that help to prevent maternal deaths. First, the Master in Public Health Leadership Program educates local leaders on ways to bring about change to maternal mortality within their diverse spheres of influence. Over 400 students have graduated and gone on to bring about change in their communities. Second, the Mother Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative aims to better equip health facilities in East Africa to provide care to mothers. It also aims to bring about social transformation in hospitals so that mothers are treated with respect and dignity.