Where a woman gives birth should not decide her fate, especially when we have affordable, effective medicines to treat and prevent the leading causes of maternal deaths. Still, nearly 290,000 women, 99 percent of them in developing countries, die each year from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
We know what can save them: reliable access to services and supplies including family planning, skilled birth attendants, prenatal care, and effective medicines. In fact, if all women had access to just two low-cost medicines, oxytocin and misoprostol, it’s estimated that we could prevent 41 million cases of excessive bleeding after childbirth and save 1.4 million lives over a ten-year period.
Click on images to enlarge.
To help viewers see how we can turn childbirth from a time of anxiety to a time of joy, PATH contacted other organizations that work to improve maternal health. We asked them to contribute photographs that capture the struggles and successes of their work and the women they serve.
The result is Ripple Effect, an exhibit of photographs that tell the stories of women during pregnancy and childbirth, and how access to supplies makes a difference in their lives. You can see a selection from the exhibit in the photo gallery above, and the full set on Flickr.
Supplies save lives
Tonight in New York, we’re hosting an exhibition of Ripple Effect for policymakers and global health advocates attending the United Nations General Assembly. Our goal is to bring attention to many countries’ lack of reliable access to essential health supplies for women—especially oxytocin, misoprostol, and magnesium sulfate.
We know medicines and health supplies save lives. Let’s make sure women can get them.