Newborn health is inextricably connected to maternal health. Similarly to maternal mortality, preventable diseases are the major causes of under-five deaths. Inadequate nutrition, limited access to clean water and poor healthcare infrastructures lead to the spread of preventable infectious diseases.
As the governments of the world convene this week to discuss them, they need to look at the evidence. But they also need to listen to the voices of the millions of girls and women around the world for whom access to contraception and safe abortion is integral to their survival, to their health and to their well-being.
For me, that morning when I saw a positive sign on the pregnancy test, I was filled with excitement, expectations and a sense of craziness. The thought of survival never crossed my mind. I didn't have to worry about affording care or being able to access a midwife, and I knew that this privilege was due to where I lived.