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White Ribbon Alliance Calls for Investments to Save Women's Lives Lost in Pregnancy and Childbirth
Date:4/16/2008

Joins with Maternal Health Champions on Capitol Hill to Ask U.S. to Meet Obligations to World's Poorest Nations

WASHINGTON, April 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood today took its call for world leaders to invest in women's health to Capitol Hill. Citing recent reports that the UN Millennium Development Goal to reduce maternal mortality by 75% by 2015 is unlikely to be met in Asia until 2076 and many years later in Africa, they were joined by Congressional leaders who appealed for stronger participation by the US in global efforts to strengthen women's access to quality health care, underscoring that 99% of maternal deaths occur in developing nations and jeopardize progress to reduce infant mortality and eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.

"All of us would be hard-pressed to think of a tragedy more devastating than a woman dying in childbirth," said Lois Capps, Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues. "As a public health nurse who worked closely with young mothers and their families, I know too well that the loss of a mother shatters her family and threatens the well-being of her surviving children."

"Maternal mortality is the single greatest health indicator of the failure of governments to meet the basic needs of society's poorest and most vulnerable women," continued Capps. "All nations bear responsibility for women dying needlessly in childbirth and must meet our obligations to assist the governments without adequate resources to invest in women's health."

Experts estimate a package of maternal health services costing less than US$1.50 per person could make significant improvements in women's health in the 75 countries where 95% of maternal and child deaths occur. Yet, funding for family planning and reproductive health has declined since the mid-1990s, especially if HIV/AIDS money is excluded. Aid to the least developed countries has essentially stalled since 2
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SOURCE White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood
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