Most American children who are running entered kindergarten at age five with little idea what a huge victory reaching age five truly is. I imagine some will celebrate breaking the world record, but I am thinking about the birthday parties for those 5-year-olds around the world who, without continued effort, would never have completed the race.
According to Save the Children's latest State of the World's Mothers report, Finland is the best country in the world for mothers. This is a tremendous achievement, but not an accident. There is a wide consensus in Finland that maternal and infant health is a high priority, and our national budget reflects that.
Nigeria is a hard place to be a mom. As a midwife there, I should know. Many women who are in need of medical care there don't get it for a variety of reasons. Either they can't afford it, they live too far from a health facility, or their husbands haven't allowed them to go. Some women literally die waiting for this permission.
My wife jolted me out of a deep sleep at 5 a.m. She mumbled something didn't "feel right." The fear in her voice scared me. Before long, I was donning a pair of scrubs in the delivery room. All the while, clenching my wife's hand, kissing her forehead, and whispering confidently about how we were going to be such amazing parents.