10 May 2012
Have a Mother's Day cup of coffee
If you are in Copenhagen, Denmark during this week, and if you are a coffee drinker, you might find your hot drink served in a colourful paper cup with these words printed on “Kunsten at redde en mor” – Danish for “The art of saving a mother”.
In the occasion of Mother’s Day this upcoming Sunday, we have teamed up with UNFPA and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to draw attention to the global health challenges connected to motherhood.
In 2010 UN could announce that 358.000 women die every year due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth - it is nearly 1000 women every day! Maternal mortality is the most common cause of death for young women 15-19 years old in developing countries, especially in Africa and Asia.
The numbers are high, but still there is good news. As announced in the report Trends in maternal mortality from 2010, the mortality rate has dropped with one-third since 1990 and we hope to see more of this positive development, when UN presents the 2012 report next week.
Education will give more women access to professional help
It is often a great challenge to reach the poorest women in the most remote villages and this is why University of Copenhagen supports the education of health staff in the developing countries, explains Professor Flemming Konradsen from the Copenhagen School of Global Health:
“It is absolutely essential that a woman has access to health professionals both while she is is pregnant, during and after giving birth. This is why Danish universities have made it a priority to assist health institutions in the south to educate more and better skilled midwifes, doctors and other health professionals. By learning relatively simple techniques the health staff can save many women’s lives. And when the skills are taught through official educational programmes it is possible to bring birth attendance to even the most isolated regions,” says Flemming Konradsen.
It is especially the following three things that can save a woman’s life:
- Access to effective contraception for both men and women so women can avoid unwanted pregnancies and dangerous abortions. Today 215 million women have an unmet need for for such contraception.
- Pregnant women and women in labor must have access to professional birth attendance – midwives or health professionals trained to assist in childbirth.
- Women must have access to emergency obstetric care such as caesarean section, blood transfusions or the drugs which are essential to treat life threatening complications which may occur during childbirth.
We will keep you updated on the news trends in maternal mortality here on www.globalhealth.ku.dk.
www.morsdagkoppen.dk (in Danish)
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