New campaign strives to make healthy pregnancies and safe births a basic global right

LatinaLista – There is no issue that is borderless or as universal in its appeal than the plight of mothers and their children in developing countries. We saw that during the recent high-profile coverage of the Somali women and children starving to death in refugee camps.

Yet, an issue just as important as hunger is pregnancy. In developing countries:

Every 90 seconds, a woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth.

1 in 5 women in Africa loses a baby in her lifetime. In richer countries, that number is around 1 in 125.

Almost 9 million children die each year before their 5th birthdays–that’s more than 24,000 children each day–from largely preventable causes.


Yet, distance and finances can make anyone feel helpless to do anything that could make a difference — but what about a million of us?

This week, ABC News, the UN Foundation, BabyCenter and Johnson & Johnson, as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation launched a new call-to-action campaign to help mothers and mothers-to-be in developing countries.

Dubbed the Million Moms Challenge, the campaign’s objective is to raise awareness and money to help the most vulnerable women and children in the world not just survive but thrive.

The Million Moms Challenge will focus on crucial issues that are a priority for all mothers, including access to proper nutrition to support healthy pregnancies, trained midwives to assist in safe deliveries, and vaccines that enable children to survive to their first birthdays and beyond.

Participating in the challenge involves signing a petition supporting the campaign. In fact, Johnson & Johnson has said it will donate $1 for the first 100,000 people who join the movement.

There are videos about mothers who need help, ideas on how to raise awareness among your friends and stories from around the world on how those countries are helping with the issue. There are even mommy bloggers contributing to the campaign with personal posts about their pregnancy and birthing experiences.

You don’t have to be a mom to help a mom. You just have to be one in a million. Join our call to make healthy pregnancies, safe births, and children who survive and thrive a basic right around the world.

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