“Each day an estimated 800 mothers and 18,000 young children die from largely preventable causes.”

That’s a daunting statistic when there’s plenty that can be done, considering the gift modern medicine can bring to nations. There was a rather peculiar question posed to me, “Why do you believe saving lives of newborns and children in developing countries is important to me.” The question was peculiar in nature because it seemed like a no brainer. How could I not value the lives of innocent children or the women who work so diligently for 9 months to give them life? Why is this even an issue? Well, I’m here to give voice to the countless women and newborns who have lost their life due to inadequate or non-existent healthcare.

Mothers and their child at a Mothers’ group in South Delhi, India.
Mothers and their child at a Mothers’ group in South Delhi, India.

It’s important to walk through life selflessly because what you deem as unimportant or not affecting you could easily become your story. Walk with me for a moment and imagine your first ultra sound and the physician determining your due date and you begin to prepare for a bundle of joy in 9 months; only to conclude your journey with the death of your newborn because of lack of quality healthcare or the presence of well-trained physicians or mid-wives. Could you imagine delivering at home with no medical attention or carrying your child for months without proper checkups and prenatal care? I can’t and women in other countries shouldn’t have to either. They deserve better. MGDs plan is to, “Build stronger institutions and stronger health systems that provide universal health coverage, and provide for the most vulnerable, as well as promote early action, social protection, disaster risk reduction;” I’m in full support.

Mother picking up an insecticide treated bed net. Lusaka Zambia
Mother picking up an insecticide treated bed net. Lusaka Zambia

I’m a mother of a healthy, vivacious seven-year old daughter, who remembers the luxurious experience I had giving birth to her. I delivered at a small all women’s hospital where my room faced the lake; our gourmet food was delicately prepared and brought into our hospital (no tasteless hospital food for me-actually had to ward off my family and friends from eating my tray); I had the best of the best in anesthesiologist; top OBGYN; skilled pediatric nurses; large private suite; pull-out sofa bed for my significant other or family members who wanted to stay overnight with the baby and me; and the peace of mind that my child and I would make it successfully through the birthing process. While I recognize that my experience cannot be everyone’s and we each have our own birthing experiences, I cannot fathom being subjected to being robbed of such a precious moment; instead of welcoming baby and mommy home, a family is left to face devastating circumstances with the loss of mommy or baby. We have the ability to do and be more for nations. It is so easy to get caught up in our own ‘stuff’ but we must take a moment to fight together. We can make the next 500 days as powerful as we want them to be. There’s great power in unity. MDG believes, “With 500 days to go before the target date, it is vital that the world acts to make sure more countries can get on-track to achieve MDG4-the reduction of preventable child deaths by two thirds by 2015.” Do you believe? What will you do to have a hand in saving the life of mommy and baby? I strongly encourage you to participate in this journey by reposting this blog, sharing your own thoughts on the issue, and sharing the movement across all your social media platforms. A little will go a long way.

Mothers and their children at a health post in Hawassa, Ethiopia.
Mothers and their children at a health post in Hawassa, Ethiopia.

For more information on this poignant movement and “the reduction of preventable child deaths by two-thirds by 2015,” please join us here: www.mdg500.org. Together we can afford women and newborns of impoverished countries the right to experience childbirth free of worry and devastation. Join the conversation by tweeting your plan of action and using one of the below suggested hashtags.
#MDGmomentum #commit2deliver

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2 thoughts on “500 Days Left To Live: the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)”

    1. That’s exactly right. We must come outside of ourselves and our issues in order to recognize the value in human life everywhere! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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