Every three minutes, a mother in Africa dies from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth – deaths which can be prevented with access to basic healthcare. This Mother’s Day, many of us will post photos of our moms on social media. Embracing this positive trend, Amref Health Africa is asking people to use the hashtag #SaveMothersDay to post a photo with their mom to stand in solidarity with mothers across Africa.
A joint U.S. and Canada initiative, #SaveMothersDay will unite families across North America this year in an effort to highlight the need for better access to maternal healthcare in Africa, while also celebrating their mothers.
In the U.S. and Canada, a woman could expect to see a trained health professional at least 12 times during pregnancy, and have access to basic healthcare services. In many countries throughout Africa, however, the situation is very different – only 50% of all pregnant women will see a trained professional for up to four antenatal visits, or more often, no visits at all.
Amref Health Africa is making childbirth safer in partnership with the Liya Kebede Foundation, a non-profit that aims to improve access to maternal health care in Africa. Liya Kebede, an Ethiopian-born supermodel and designer, is in Addis Ababa today to visit Amref Health Africa’s maternal health programs, while marking International Day of the Midwife.
“Amref Health Africa is making a real impact on the lives of thousands of women across Africa,” says Kebede. “I’ve spoken with several midwives here – all trained by Amref Health Africa – and their dedication to pregnant women, their children and to their communities is admirable. The mothers are grateful knowing they have reliable, effective care, and a chance at surviving childbirth. I hope everyone will take some time this Sunday to use the #SaveMothersDay hashtag and show their support for African mothers.”
“#SaveMothersDay is a great way for people to get engaged in this important cause, while doing a little something special for mom,” says Robert Kelty, Executive Director of Amref Health Africa in the U.S. “We’re pleased to have the support of the Liya Kebede Foundation as we work to spread the message that midwives save lives. One skilled midwife can really mean the difference between life and death for so many women in these communities.”
Apart from their crucial job at delivery, midwives also monitor pregnant women throughout their term, and treat malaria and HIV, including preventing mother-to-child transmission. They provide educational services, such as breastfeeding counsel, family planning, and helping women to deliver at a health facility with a midwife or skilled attendant. It is estimated that a trained midwife can assist at least 500 women during childbirth per year.
“Canada has shown global leadership in focusing attention and funding to improve mother and child health,” says Anne-Marie Kamanye, Executive Director of Amref Health Africa in Canada. “With #SaveMothersDay, Canadians can celebrate their moms while showing their support for better healthcare for African mothers.”
Every photo that is tagged #SaveMothersDay on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will be uploaded to the digital photo gallery on www.savemothersday.net. A matching donation of $5 will be made for every photo posted (in the U.S. only), and all visitors to the site can choose to make a donation. While a hashtag might be a small gesture, it is also a powerful statement.
Learn more about our partnership with the Liya Kebede Foundation.
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