Motherhood everywhere is often described in terms of great sacrifice and great reward – but from a global perspective, motherhood is truly heroic and fraught with danger. Nearly 350,000 women do not survive pregnancy or childbirth every year. The reasons that lead to this tragic outcome are many:
- Girls all over the world are still marrying far too young, before their bodies are ready to cope with the demands of childbirth. One in seven girls in developing countries marries before she is 15 years old.
- Skilled birth attendants, who can make birth safer, are in short supply.
- Women in low-resource areas simply lack the health information they need for themselves or their children, or they do not know that resources are available. This puts mothers and children under 5 years old particularly at risk.
Solutions to these challenges could come from the local communities, but communities require resources and the dedication of diverse partners and individuals working together. To help communities meet these challenges, Johnson & Johnson partners with governments, multinational agencies such as UNICEF and UNFPA, and non-government, professional and community-based organizations to pilot innovative solutions, bundle interventions to improve impact and scale up evidence-based practices. The kinds of partnerships we seek provide health information through mobile phone technology, trained nurses, skilled birth attendants and surgeons to make birth safer and provide supplies and medication to improve maternal and child health.
Alice Walker, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, once wrote, “No song or poem will bear my mother’s name. Yet so many of the stories that I write, that we all write, are my mother’s stories.” I believe that, within a generation, the arduous story of our unsung heroes, our mothers worldwide, will be written in the history books alongside the story of a global community that worked together to help women fulfill the promise of motherhood.
Help write the story of our unsung heroes by supporting moms worldwide. There are many ways to help. This week, Save the Children released its annual State of the World’s Mothers report, and is asking the public to join the call to support and protect mothers worldwide.