Today is Blog Action Day 2008 and bloggers all over the world will be focusing their thoughts on poverty in an attempt to raise awareness.
When I first heard about this action I wasn't going to join in. But I have been following various discussions on the Global Alliance for Nursing and Midwifery, sponsored by the World Health Organization. And an email allerted me to an article that really struck a cord with me.
A mother's final look at life
The article is written by Kevin Sullivan and published in the Washington Post. The article describes the death of an 18 year-old woman in Sierra Leone following the birth of her first child - she died of severe bleeding following the birth.
According to this article, the chances of a woman dying during childbirth in the USA is 1: 4,800. In Ireland it is 1:48,000. In Sierra Leone, it is 1;8.
Worrying about chickens
There's been a lot of publicity and television programs led by people such as Jamie Oliver, urging us to think about the conditions that chickens and animals are kept in. And only the other day I went out and bought free-range eggs, although I did moan about the price. But made me feel very good - I am doing my 'bit'.
But I wonder...if we in the developed world put half as much of our thoughts, energy and resources into saving women's lives as we do into saving chickens, I wonder how much better life would be for impoverished women.
The point Sullivan makes is that money is poured into projects combating malaria, TB and HIV-AIDS. But little attention is paid to maternal death. Sullivan goes on to quote Thoraya A. Obaid, executive director of the U.N. Population Fund:
Maternal death is an almost invisible death
So have a read of the article and watch the accompanying video, and consider all the woman who lose their lives in childbirth, so that their deaths do not stay invisible.
Thank you to Patricia Abbott who drew my attention to the article.