India, May 2011 – WRAIndia and Save the Children are joined in New Delhi by renowned mothers – including Najma Heptullah (Member Rajya Sabha), Feroze Gujral (model/media personality), Lushin Dubey (actor/director), Vani Tripathi (BJP youth leader), Sagarika Ghose (media personality/author), Ramola Bachchan (entrepreneur), Ramneek Paintal (model/VJ), Jaishree Misra (author), Poonam Bhagat (designer), Vandana Luthra (entrepreneur), Namrata Joshipura (designer), Devi Cherian (columnist) and Padmashree Shovana Narayan (dancer) – to issue a Mother’s Day appeal for health workers within the reach of every mother and child.
• Every year around 68,000 women die in India from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth.
• With the death of a mother, her children are more likely to die before age 5.
• Every year 20 lakh children die due to easily preventable causes such as diarrhea and pneumonia.
• In India, only 10% of the most wealthy women deliver without trained health workers, compared to around an estimated 80% of the poorest women.
• India ranks 75 out of 77 countries on a scale of ‘best place to be a mother’; this is two places down from last year’s Mother’s Index compiled by Save the Children.
• Trained heath workers are key to preventing maternal and child deaths. All women and children – especially the poor and excluded – deserve quality professional care without barriers of cost.
• Every woman and child has the right to the care they need to survive.
“It is time that we realize the criticality of health workers in India and a healthcare access system that gives us the platform to interact with women who really need help and reach out to them with timely health solutions. What we must understand is that the women who are dying are uninformed and not in a position to take conscious decisions. It is the responsibility of the government, the informed communities and the healthcare system to save their lives.”
Aparajita Gogoi, National Coordinator, White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood India
“It is indeed sad that on the one hand our country is emerging as a global power and on the other we have shocking statistics on maternal, newborn and child mortality. As a nation we must invest in the health of mothers and children. There is a critical role for female health workers in the fight to reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality. Countries that train and deploy more female health workers have seen dramatic reductions in maternal, newborn and child mortality.”
Shireen Vakil Miller, Director for Advocacy, Save the Children
They also released an Atlas of Birth mapping inequities of access to care, showing only 10% of India’s wealthiest women deliver without trained health workers, compared to an estimated 80% of the poorest women. Click here to download the full flyer.