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The number one killer of young women in the developing world is not a disease whose cure eludes us, or a condition which the world lacks the resources to treat. It is pregnancy and childbirth.
Every year, 500,000 women die while trying to give life. That’s one every single minute.

The vast majority of these deaths are preventable. As part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – a set of promises made in the year 2000 to eradicate extreme poverty, improve health, education and the environment and create a global partnership for development – 189 world leaders have pledged to reduce maternal mortality by three-quarters by 2015. But maternal health has seen the least progress of all of the MDGs, and the Goal is unlikely to be achieved unless urgent action is taken now.

In today’s story on Women’s eNews, Dr. Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem, Deputy Director for Africa at the United Nations Millennium Campaign — which supports citizens’ efforts to hold their leaders accountable for meeting the MDGs – shares a personal story of losing his sister during childbirth last month, and calls on the leaders of developing countries to mobilize domestic resources to ensure that mothers get the proper medical care they need. Now, amidst this global emergency, the UN Millennium Campaign has partnered with Women’s eNews, the online source of substantive information about issues of particular concern to women, to host a live online chat about maternal health.

On March 25, 2009 at 10:00 am Eastern Standard Time, Annie Raja, General Secretary of the National Federation of Indian Women, and Dr. Jemima A. Dennis-Antwi, the International Confederation of Midwives’ Regional Midwifery Adviser for Anglophone Africa, will share firsthand experiences from the front lines of the fight against maternal mortality, in a live chat moderated by Kimberly Seals Allers, Editorial Director of Women’s eNews’ Black Maternal Health series, which is generously funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Seals Allers is also founder of Mochamanual.com.

Click here to register in advance to log in to this event online.
Questions for the panelists can be emailed in advance to maternalmortalitydebate@gmail.com or typed in during the event.


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