Over the past 20 years, we have seen tremendous global progress in reducing child and maternal mortality. But this progress has been uneven between, and within, countries.
In the world’s toughest places, conflict and poverty often push health care out-of-reach. Women lack access to pre- and post-natal care, and to skilled medical assistants during birth. Children die because they failed to receive treatment for preventable diseases. More than half of all child and maternal deaths now occur in unstable countries like South Sudan, Afghanistan, and the DRC.
We work alongside children and their families in these fragile settings. And we work to raise their voices with decision makers in government. This April, we will hold a learning event in Ottawa for members of government, with settings like an outdoor health education session under a tree and a basic health clinic. The idea is to show how inexpensive and effective health care is possible – even in the world’s toughest places.
Encourage your MP to attend!
The event in Ottawa will celebrate a lot of good happening today in maternal and child health, with a particular emphasis that hope and progress are possible – and necessary – in fragile countries. If we are going to end preventable child and maternal deaths, Canada and the world must focus our efforts here.
A leading effort to this end is the Every Woman Every Child initiative, established by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2010. This unprecedented global effort mobilizes governments, multilaterals, the private sector and civil society to address the major health challenges facing women, children and adolescents. The UN states that the Every Woman Every Child program has saved 2.4 million lives since 2010.
Our health programs in war-ravaged South Sudan are part of the Every Woman Every Child success. Recently World Vision Canada’s Elly Vandenberg traveled to South Sudan to see the health work:
"There are those who say long-term development can't be done in countries like South Sudan but I witnessed first-hand the lives saved there as a result of existing Canadian investments. Hardworking medical professionals brought critical services to communities in remote places. Midwives, male and female, expressed awe at the role they were able to play in helping women deliver. Community health workers improved maternal outcomes by promoting healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies."
As Canadians, we now have the opportunity to continue to be leaders by taking maternal and child health efforts further – to the world toughest places. Which brings us back to the event in April. And a role you can play in it.
Help us make the April event a success by encouraging your Member of Parliament to attend. We’ve created a simple e-action you can virtually sign and send as a timely reminder of the event.
Together we can reach every woman and every child!