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U.S. Could Learn From Developing Countries, Should Prioritize Maternal, Newborn Health

Huffington Post: Prioritizing Maternal And Newborn Survival: Time To Look To The Developing World For Affordable Solutions
Susan M. Blaustein, executive director of WomenStrong International

“With America unique among developed and most developing countries in its rising maternal mortality, it’s especially encouraging to see significant progress in mothers’ and newborn survival in sites across the developing world. … [WomenStrong International’s] projects in Haiti, Ghana, India, and elsewhere illustrate the very real progress being made across the developing world, even as our own country falls far behind. … But here in America, it appears we don’t believe that public investment in the lives of women and babies is worth the trouble. … The United States as a whole was recently certified as second only to Mexico in having the highest maternal mortality rate among the 31 OECD-member countries, considered the world’s most developed. With such dubious recognition, one really has to ask, ‘What does it mean to be a “developed nation,” if we won’t prioritize the survival of our mothers and babies?’ Perhaps it’s time for us to redefine America as a ‘developing’ nation. At least then, some generous, far-sighted, and humane foreign government or NGO might step in, to help our own families, communities, states, and nation do what it takes to save our mothers’ and newborn lives” (10/3).

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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.