Magical Things That Will Happen If We Invest More Money In Girls And Women

Magical Things That Will Happen If We Invest More Money In Girls And Women

Stop investing in stupid stuff and invest in something that actually makes a difference for everyone. Like, what the hell does investing in gold do for families? Call me naive to gold economics, but investing in women and girls is a waaay better idea.

 

Here are some facts from Women Deliver:

Too many women and newborns are dying worldwide during pregnancy and childbirth.

  • Every year, approximately 287,000 girls and women die from pregnancy-related causes.
  • Ten countries have 60 percent of the global maternal deaths: India (56,000), Nigeria (40,000), Democratic Republic of the Congo (15,000), Pakistan (12,000), Sudan (10,000), Indonesia (9,600), Ethiopia (9,000), United Republic of Tanzania (8,500), Bangladesh (7,200) and Afghanistan (6,400).
  • Ten million women are lost in every generation.
  • 3.1 million newborn babies die every year, also from causes that are mainly preventable and typically linked to the mother’s health.
  • Huge disparities exist between rich and poor countries, and between the rich and poor in all countries.
  • One in 32 Afghan women will die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and one in 23 in Niger.
  • One in 2,400 women will die of these causes in the United States, and one in 14,100 in Sweden.

Investing another US $12 billion a year (for a total of US $24 billion) would fulfill the unmet need for family planning and provide every woman with the recommended standard of maternal and newborn care. The results:

  • Reducing unintended pregnancies by more than 66%
  • Preventing 70% of maternal deaths
  • Averting 44% of newborn deaths
  • Reducing unsafe abortion by 73%
  • Cutting disability-adjusted life years lost to pregnancy-related illness and premature death by 66%

Though the funding is essential to prevent these deaths, money alone can’t solve this problem. Governments must also:

  • Strengthen health systems and address serious gaps, including 1.1 million health care professionals (midwives, nurses, doctors, and specialists) and managers by 2015.
  • Strengthen maternal, newborn, and reproductive health programs and institutions, and ensure that information and services are available and sensitive to and respectful of women.
  • Develop monitoring and accountability mechanisms and channels for community engagement that address wider socio-economic, political, and cultural barriers to maternal and newborn health care.

Why Women Die

These are the main causes resulting in maternal death worldwide:

 

  1. Haemorrhage is excessive bleeding or an abnormal blood flow.
  2. Eclampsia and hypertensive disorders are blood pressure complications, which can cause convulsions and even death for pregnant women before, during, or after birth.
  3. Unsafe abortion is the termination of an unwanted pregnancy by a person lacking the necessary skills or in an unsanitary environment. Every year, an estimated 20 million unsafe abortions take place.
  4. Sepsis is a severe infection, most common during the postpartum period.
  5. Embolism is an obstruction in a blood vessel due to a blood clot or another object becoming stuck while moving through the bloodstream.
  6. Another prominent direct cause is obstructed labor. Obstructed labor occurs when the fetus cannot pass through the birth canal. It is most common among young girls whose bodies are not yet mature and women whose pelvises are underdeveloped due to malnutrition.

But these deaths can be prevented through simple cost-effective measures. Learn how.

Three Core Strategies to Save Lives

While there is no magic bullet that solves all maternal health problems, the great majority of maternal deaths can be prevented through simple cost-effective measures, which can be implemented even where resources are scarce.

The core strategies that have been demonstrated to improve maternal and newborn health are:

1. Access to family planning – counseling, services, and supplies
2. Access to quality care for pregnancy and childbirth
– antenatal care
– skilled attendance at birth, including emergency obstetric and neonatal care
– immediate postnatal care for mothers and newborns
3. Access to safe abortion services, when legal

A functioning health system, with a well-trained, motivated workforce, can deliver effective, safe, and high-quality health services to all segments of the population. Universal access to high-quality health care – provided in health facilities, staffed by skilled attendants; stocked with essential drugs, contraceptives, and reproductive health supplies; and equipped to provide the full range of essential services – prevents maternal and newborn death and injuries.

Every government and donor needs to prioritize and support these three strategies, within the context of global commitments to strengthening health systems, realizing human rights, involving communities, and prioritizing the needs of the poor and marginalized.

Global Price Tag

$12 Billion Annually Needed to Meet MDG 5

Governments and the international community must commit funding to provide essential services to all women in developing countries to meet MDG 5 (Improve Maternal Health) by 2015. Investing in women makes sense right now and is essential for our future.

Investing another US $12 billion a year (for a total of US $24 billion) would fulfill the unmet need for family planning and provide every woman with the recommended standard of maternal and newborn care. The results:

  • Reducing unintended pregnancies by more than 66%
  • Preventing 70% of maternal deaths
  • Averting 44% of newborn deaths
  • Reducing unsafe abortion by 73%
  • Cutting disability-adjusted life years lost to pregnancy-related illness and premature death by 66%

Though the funding is essential to prevent these deaths, money alone can’t solve this problem. Governments must also:

  • Strengthen health systems and address serious gaps, including 1.1 million health care professionals (midwives, nurses, doctors, and specialists) and managers by 2015.
  • Strengthen maternal, newborn, and reproductive health programs and institutions, and ensure that information and services are available and sensitive to and respectful of women.
  • Develop monitoring and accountability mechanisms and channels for community engagement that address wider socio-economic, political, and cultural barriers to maternal and newborn health care.

 

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