Improving access to healthcare is one of the advocacy priorities of our Church. Lutheran ministries both here at home and abroad continue to provide health services—including child and maternal health, to those in need of it. Through its various programmatic interventions, the U.S. government has been instrumental in improving mother and child survival rates around the world.
Since 1990, mortality rates of mothers and children under the age of five have been cut by more than half. This is one of the greatest success stories in international development in the last 25 years. Progress has largely been achieved using simple solutions and proven, inexpensive interventions to address leading causes of death, including diarrhea, pneumonia, malnutrition, and complications during pregnancy and birth. Despite this remarkable progress, over 5 million children and 300,000 women die each year from preventable causes, 99 percent of which occur in developing countries.
As a people whose faith calls us to seek the well-being of our neighbor, we have an opportunity to encourage our government officials to enhance existing programs so that more mothers and children can survive.
A bipartisan group of senators and representatives recently introduced the Reach Every Mother and Child Act to help end preventable maternal, newborn, and child deaths globally. This bill would accelerate the reduction of preventable maternal, newborn, and child deaths worldwide by enacting key reforms that increase the effectiveness and impact of our government’s existing maternal and child survival programs.
Please urge Congress to take necessary steps to prevent maternal and newborn deaths by supporting the Reach Every Mother and Child Act now! Visit the ELCA Advocacy Action Center now to contact your elected leaders.