The first 24 hours of a child’s life are the most dangerous, with more than one million babies dying each year on their first and only day of life, according to new research released by Save the Children.
The report “Ending Newborn Deaths,” released on February 25, 2014, shows one half of first day deaths around the world could be prevented if the mother and baby had access to free health care and a skilled midwife.
My first child, born in New York City, arrived with tired, labored cries in the early hours of what would be a bright and sunny January morning, after many, many, hours of hard labor. Yet not for a moment did I doubt that my beautiful son wouldn’t see his “second day,’ nor did I think twice about the amazing health care that I received throughout my pregnancy as well as at those critical moments of his birth.
Sadly, this is not the case for so many mothers around the world. According to Carolyn Miles, CEO of Save the Children:
“The first day of a child’s life is the most dangerous, and too many mothers give birth alone on the floor of their home or in the bush without any life-saving help. We hear horror stories of mothers walking for hours during labor to find trained help, all too often ending in tragedy.
It’s criminal that many of these deaths could be averted simply if there was someone on hand to make sure the birth took place safely and who knew what to do in a crisis.
Each year, 40 million women give birth without trained help. In Ethiopia, only 10 percent of births have skilled help whereas in some areas of rural Afghanistan there is just one midwife for 10,000 people.”
This needs to be changed, and Save the Children is calling on world leaders, philanthropists and the private sector to meet and commit to the Five Point Newborn Promise in 2014. Please read the report and share it. Learn more about how the significant number of these preventable deaths can easily be reduced. We just need the committed political will to make change!
We bring this issue to your attention now and at the same time we hope it reminds you of the many incredible opportunities that can easily and truly change the world for so many, IF our leaders – political, social, spiritual and business – would commit to move forward in a positive direction. We have allowed so many roadblocks to be put up, which can so easily be taken down or which we can find a path around, if we have the will to try, an if we make sure that those “in charge” know that these issues are of critical importance to us.As with climate change, a real and ever present threat to our children’s future, amazing opportunities exist to create a sustainable and liveable future – we just need to decide to take them. We ask you, on the issue of ending newborn deaths, and as we look to the future of these children born into a world of human created and accelerating climate change, let’s work to make the first and second days of their lives brighter, and their futures as well.
Each of us can make a difference – your vote, your purchasing power, your ability to help your neighbor, friend or family member understand these important issues – makes them not so difficult or unsolvable after all. But to make a difference, we do all need to speak up loudly, and make our voices heard. Together we can and we will move off of the dangerous path we are currently on, and find a safer one for us all to travel on, together.
This post has been written to support the work and efforts of the Global Team of 200 and Mom Bloggers for Social Good. As part of the Global Team of 200, we are thrilled to come together with bloggers from around the country to write about a given topic and elevate issues of mutual concern and interest by helping our respective audiences learn something new; something that they can then teach their families, friends and colleagues.