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Every day approximately 830 mothers around the world die due to pregnancy and childbirth complications. Most of these are preventable deaths. That's why improving childbirth outcomes was a critical issue at the recent G7 Health Ministers meeting attended by Canada.
Pregnancy during war, natural disaster, or economic collapse isn't simply a time of joy and wonder; it's often tainted with anxiety and fear. For these women, it's more like nine months of holding the thin red line of courage against almost impossible odds. The strength and resilience needed to do this is astounding.
China and India have become a lot less poor. Although they still have a ways to go -- as do we all -- a staggering number of people in both countries are living substantially better lives than their parents did because they have been allowed, to a greater degree than before, to pursue their own interests. The least that organizations like the UN could do is refrain from denigrating that pursuit.
2015 promises to be a transformative year on the international development front and is therefore an appropriate time to reflect on a noteworthy milestone. The United Nations enters its 70th year -- and like some 70-year-olds, the beleaguered UN has found new vigour and relevance in people's lives, with Canada playing a role in some noteworthy accomplishments.
Some of our ultimate values as a civilization have swirled around children. They have prompted our drive towards education, health, training and opportunity. What does it say about us, then, that we are willing to accept the increasing death of millions of children in conflicts in which they have had no responsibility?
The officials revealed that Prime Minister Stephen Harper was about to announce that Canada would renew its five-year $2.85-billion commitment to saving the lives of mothers, babies, and children who die needlessly from preventable causes around the world every year. After we digested that, there were lots of smiles in the room.
For Rosario, listening to people and involving them in the initiatives that they identify as important is a given when you see people as the key agents of change in their own lives. This is something she learned to do many years ago.
The majority of our patients live. But sometimes they do not. Child survival in Chad is a day-to-day struggle. Many survive thanks to low-cost interventions like vaccination, proper nutrition, antibiotics, rehydration, blood transfusion and oxygen. Sadly, these interventions are available to too few.
Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world, their child and maternal mortality numbers are still too high and millions of children are stunted by malnutrition. Bangladesh clearly demonstrates the need but it surprisingly also demonstrates the hope. It would probably surprise many Canadians how important technology, particularly cell technology and the internet, is to the practice of development today.