Edna Adan not only trains mid-wives so they can return to their rural environment and provide pre-natal and birthing support, but also teaches them to carry with them the message that genital mutilation of any girl or woman does not serve them.
It's typical to assume that managing public health challenges in the developing world is the primary responsibility of the public sector. And that's not wrong: a well-functioning public health system is fundamental to saving more lives and keeping more people healthy.
Ending death from diseases like malaria, AIDS, tuberculosis, pneumonia and diarrhea is now possible and can be accomplished at little cost. Can the global community work together to reach the goal of reducing child mortality?
Badakhshan came in the limelight of both national and international media in 2002, when the Ministry of Public Health Afghanistan discovered that Badakhshan had the highest rate of maternal mortality in the world: 6,500 out of every 100,000 women die during child birth.
Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives recounts the history of the natural birth movement in the United States. It is the story of a revolution, initiated in the least likely place imaginable.
Prior to the earthquake, the country already had some of the highest rates of violence against women in the world. In post-earthquake camps, girls and women are simply grabbed from their homes, taken from the streets, and raped by men either alone or in gangs.
In March of this year, on International Women's Day, I asked, "Is 2012 the Year for Women and Girls?" Now, as we enter 2013, I find myself looking back on my call for stronger partnerships, more global coalitions and wondering, Are those enough?
Usually, societies try to reduce risks, especially those that are preventable. But we'd still rather give mainstream voice to ill-informed, nostalgic conservative malaise than enable teenage girls and adult women to manage their own reproduction.
Hillary Clinton has been a tireless champion of global health and women's rights. On Thursday, the eve of World AIDS Day, she released a blueprint for creating an AIDS-free generation. To the next secretary of state: You have some big shoes to fill.
I do not doubt in the least that Cardinal Dolan and the Bishops take their task with the utmost seriousness and compassion. But, ethics are informed by experience and, as such, their ethics will remain fatally flawed and their conclusions fatally unjust.
UNRWA has experienced tremendous success in improving maternal health and reducing child mortality. They have enabled mothers to take ownership of their health. Their children also have access to regular medical care. But, this doesn't mean that the story ends here.
A nurse in a low-income neighborhood of Nairobi told me he once gave an abortion to a Catholic nun. When I told this story to another nurse in Nakuru, he scoffed: "I've given abortions to many nuns, too many to remember." What happens next with abortion in Kenya?
Pregnancy and childbirth is still the leading cause of death for teenage girls in the poorest corners of the word, and despite all the progress in reducing maternal mortality by 47 percent we have yet to save these young, vulnerable lives. One of the biggest issues to resolve is child marriage.
Fortunately, I get to see Bowie all the time. She is a healthy, beautiful little girl I can hold in my arms for hours. As I look at her, my thoughts are constantly with Dalitso, across the ocean. I hope she and her mother are healthy.
Edna Adan, a 75-year-old former U.N. diplomat who has rubbed shoulders with presidents and kings, says her greatest achievement is her most recent: building the first maternity hospital in her country.
The White Ribbon Alliance is bringing real and rapid change across Africa and Asia; holding governments accountable for pledges made and helping to release government funds, and ensure these are spent properly so that thousands of lives are saved.