As the world moves toward review of the Millennium Development Goals, other nations should take a closer look at the success of Sierra Leone's maternal health program and commit to apply its lessons around the world.
Last weekend, the G8 leaders made a $5 billion commitment to maternal health. Combined with pledges from other donors, this will prevent 64,000 women from dying in childbirth and save 1.3 million young lives.
Bangladesh will no doubt be a UN "development star." But it still has a long way to go when it comes to saving women's lives, and showing the rest of the world how to achieve the most critical of the Millenium Development Goals.
While we naturally think of Mothers Day in American terms, I can't help but think of that woman I met -- long since passed away -- and those like her who are battling each and every day for the future of their children.
The interconnectedness of disease teaches us that without a healthy mother, a child is 10 times more likely to die in the first years of life, is less likely to be fed and is less likely to go to school.
While the UN says that the world is on track to reach the first Millennium Development Goal of cutting poverty in half by 2015, progress toward reducing maternal mortality by 75% by 2015 remains disappointing.
If the G-8 countries embrace as a priority providing access to comprehensive reproductive health services and strengthening health system accountability, they could save the lives of millions of women and children.
At this G8 Summit, it's time we started to put an end to maternal, newborn and infant mortality. Every day, nearly 1,000 women and 22,000 children under five will die in a world where most of these deaths are entirely preventable.
Dr. Kunchok's project serves as a model that can be replicated in regions all over the world where there are medically under-served populations, especially in areas where there are high rates of maternal and infant deaths.