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Invest In Proven Ways To Curb Maternal Mortality, Morbidity

Christy Turlington Burns, maternal health advocate and founder of Every Mother Counts, notes in this GlobalPost “Global Pulse” opinion piece that “99 percent of women who die during or after childbirth live in the developing world,” and women and girls ages 19 and younger are at a higher risk of maternal mortality and morbidity. But “[w]e know what many of the solutions are,” she says, including “access to health care, inexpensive drugs that stop post-partum hemorrhaging, a scale-up of community health workers, and reproductive health so that pregnancies can be spaced,” as well as education.

“By not investing in ways to prevent maternal deaths, the economic and social cost of maternal and newborn mortality is $15 billion per year in lost productivity,” she writes, adding, “It seems clear to me that we cannot afford to not invest.” Turlington Burns concludes, “A number of companies have become a significant force for transformation in this arena. The private sector can and should be a major factor in driving change. Collectively, we can make this a priority once and for all” (5/21).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.