Human death comes in many forms, but perhaps none more devastating and unfair than death in birth. Especially when the death could have been prevented.

According to Professor Lynn Freedman, from Columbia University’s School of Public Health, in developing countries there are five basic complications that cause the vast majority of maternal deaths: uncontrolled bleeding, infection, the consequences of unsafe abortions, prolonged and obstructed labor, and hypertensive diseases of pregnancy.

“The vast majority of deaths in high-mortality countries [are] from a handful of very clear direct causes,” she says concluding that since t*he causes and cures are so well understood, it is possible to eliminate almost all of them by simply providing the proper resources* (from UN Conference Highights Failures To Reduce Maternal Deaths by Michael Hirshman for Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty)

According to The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, each year, more than half a million women die and many more suffer complications from childbirth. And each year, nearly 10 million children die from related health problems.

Ultimately, it comes down to training. If every village had someone trained in delivery, complications would be recognized and approached with time enough to avert disaster.

Many have taken steps to train local Nurses and Midwives including Hamlin college of midwives in Ethiopia and The Real Medicine Foundation in Southern Sudan. Girls from each state are being selected for full scholarship over the entire program under the agreement that they will work in their local communities for a period of time after graduation.

Not only does this provide the outskirts of the country with trained hands, but it gives girls living in rural areas an incredible opportunity to help their sisters, their friends, their own mothers and perhaps themselves. It gives them and the community a chance at a different life.

Though action we all choose our own futures, but no one can save themselves all alone. Through each other we share the tools to save ourselves.

Invest in the futures of girls and help build ambassadors for the brave: women who will save women and their children all over the world.

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