Sunday, March 27, 2011

on the status of Africa (AMREF)

It’s mother’s day, (at least in some countries.)

A day to honor the woman that gave you life, nurtured you through childhood, tortured you through puberty, and is probably now on speed dial on your mobile.

It is also a good day to remember that childbirth is something that we in the West take for granted, but in most of the world remains a high risk activity that in no way guarantees a happy outcome.

“Women do it all the time,” people like to say

“it’s natural, women have been doing it for centuries.”

Yes, this is true, but women have also been dying in the process of giving birth for centuries, and they still die in the thousands today.

An estimated 300,000 to 500,000 women die during childbirth every year, approximately 1,000 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, and most of these deaths take place in Africa, ironically the birthplace of humanity.

Full disclosure here: I was approached and asked to write a post on AMREF for mother’s day. I was asked if I would be willing to lend my facebook page status to their cause and their campaign. Given that this is what I do for a living. Given that this is one of the things closest to my heart and what I blog about, how could I say no? For one week my status will be shared with updates from Maria Casingo, a 28 year old mother living in South Sudan with her three kids, the youngest only six days old, or as they say in kenya, someone who is "same same, but different" to me.

For one week my social media will give her a voice and my friends will have a chance to listen.

will you join me?

AMREF works in sub-Saharan Africa supporting mothers by training midwives to prevent mothers from dying in pregnancy or childbirth in hard-to-reach remote areas.

(But don't take my word for it, press on AMREF to check out what they do and who they are for yourself.)

This Mother's Day they are asking that you share your Facebook status, profile picture or Twitter stream, (by visiting AMREF Facebook page.) You can also raise awareness by tweeting about the campaign and including the hashtag #StatusofAfrica.

..... just saying.

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