09/27/2012 10:57 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The White Ribbon Alliance Citizen's Voice Reports From the UNGA in New York

Alliance Wake Up Call for Mothers and Babies' Breakfast, NYC September 21st.

White Ribbon Alliance members from India, Nepal, Tanzania and Nigeria are in New York for the UN General Assembly, where they are representing the White Ribbon Alliance at various events and reporting back to members worldwide on promises made by leaders via their own Citizen's Voice video blog reports.

David Lyamuya reports from the White Ribbon Alliance's 'Wake Up Call; Women's Breakfast for Maternal Health' where hosts Arianna Huffington, Donna Karan and White Ribbon Alliance Global Patron Sarah Brown led discussion about what's happening on the ground in countries, what's working and next steps for ensuring world leaders gathering in New York for the UNGA don't forget about the 800 women and 8,500 babies who die every day from preventable complications in pregnancy and childbirth.

David is joined by fellow White Ribbon Alliance Members Aparajita Gogoi (India) and Rose Mlay (Tanzania) who spoke at the event and Renuka Motihar (India).

A third fewer mothers are dying in pregnancy and childbirth today compared to 20 years ago. This is the best indicator of what the White Ribbon Alliance has always known -- we can stop mothers dying. They can bring up their children, ensure they are fed, educated and loved. Our message at the UNGA is that leaders need to deliver the $70 billion pledged now -- to make pregnancy and childbirth a time of joy and hope for all women around the world.

-- Sarah Brown, Global Patron, the White Ribbon Alliance.

Breakfast guests heard how the White Ribbon Alliance works differently to traditional charity models. How as a network of volunteer citizens, it is bringing real and rapid change across Africa and Asia; holding governments accountable for the pledges made on the world stage and helping to release government funds, and ensure these are spent properly, so that thousands of lives are saved.

In India where more women die in childbirth than in any other country, government policies are excellent -- women are entitled to free maternity care, in theory. In some of the poorest areas of India, White Ribbon Alliance members have been using checklists to find out if medicines and services are provided as promised by the Government. They found some dangerous gaps -- such as lack of running water and electricity, no phone connections or ambulances, and drastic shortages of trained staff.

When these shortfalls were made public and reported to officials, the changes were swift and dramatic; safe births have doubled, 24/7 ambulance and nursing services tripled.

How you can help?

The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood needs funding to support members around the world hold their governments accountable for the funds and actions they have promised to maternal health. Every $ you donate will help us release the $ Billions promised to stop women and babies dying in pregnancy and childbirth.

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