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Posts Tagged ‘Amnesty International’

Amnesty International will convene three public town hall meetings with Amnesty International leaders and local partner organizations. The three events will be held in San Francisco (April 14th), Detroit (April 17th), and New York City (April 19th).

Amnesty International USA
“Amnesty International will host discussions with local maternal health experts and its national leaders from the United States, Burkina Faso, Peru, and Sierra Leone — countries where the human rights organization has launched campaigns to prevent unacceptably high rates of maternal deaths.”

Wednesday, April 14, San Francisco
5:30-7:30 p.m., San Francisco Public Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin Street
Contact and RSVP: Will Butkus (wbutkus@aiusa.org)

Saturday, April 17, Detroit
2-4 p.m., Northwest Activities Center, 18100 Meyers Road.
Contact: Carrie Neff (cneff@aiusa.org)

Monday, April 19, New York City
6:30 p.m. (doors open 5:30 p.m.), Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive
Contact: Thenjiwe McHarris (tmcharris@aiusa.org).

For more details on these events, click here.

For more information on Amnesty’s recent report on maternal health in the United States, click here.

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Keira Knightley, Annie Lennox, James Purefoy, Beverley Knight, Dervla Kirwan, Colin Salmon and Jonathan Pryce  appear in the three minute film and call on the UK Government to prioritize international maternal and newborn health.

amnesty.org.uk

“…Earlier this week a coalition of organisations including Amnesty, Save the Children and the White Ribbon Alliance, revealed that the rate of pregnant women dying in countries in the developing world is as bad – and in some countries far worse – than the rate of women dying in Britain 100 years ago.

Today Amnesty International also published a major new report on the rate of maternal deaths in the USA, where figures show that two to three women die in childbirth or pregnancy-related factors every day.  These deaths occur because of a lack of health insurance, barriers to health care for those who speak little or no English or who live in poverty, and a shortage of health care professionals in rural and inner-city areas…”

Read the full story and watch the video here.

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Today’s story on Time.com, Too Many Women Dying in U.S. While Having Babies, describes a new report by Amnesty International called, Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA.

www.Time.com

“Amnesty International may be best known to American audiences for bringing to light horror stories overseas such as the disappearance of political activists in Argentina or the abysmal conditions inside South African prisons under apartheid. But in a new report on pregnancy and childbirth care in the U.S., Amnesty details the maternal health care crisis in this country as part of a systemic violation of women’s rights…”

Read the full story.

Download the report and view the press release.

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In honor of International Women’s Day, the BBC reports on progress toward Millennium Development Goal Five.

BBC

“…For every 100,000 live births in developing countries, 450 women die during pregnancy or labour.

The coalition, which includes White Ribbon Alliance, Amnesty International and Oxfam, says that in 1910, 355 women died per 100,000 live births in England and Wales.

In Scotland and Ireland, the rate was higher – at 572 and 531 respectively.

In Ghana today the rate of pregnancy-related deaths is 560, while in Chad it is 1,500. The rate in the UK is now 14 deaths per 100,000.

The comparison has been drawn because it was 100 years ago that International Women’s Day was established…”

Read the full story, International Women’s Day Call for Labour Deaths Action.


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Five recent stories published on the site have raised various issues impacting maternal health—including leadership and innovation, maternal death audits, access to primary health care and safe delivery, human rights, and even a proposal for a separate maternal health ministry.

allAfrica.com

Namibia: Leadership Development, Social Innovation and Improved System Performance

The Maternal Health Initiative Team,  an offshoot of the African Public Health Leadership and Systems Innovation Initiative, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is “developing a model for improving public health leadership and system performance.”

“…The project is underpinned by three principles: local leadership development, social innovation and improved system performance.

The initiative applies a business-consulting approach called the Innovation Lab. Through the Innovation Lab, multi-stakeholder teams are guided through an intensive leadership development and problem-based learning experience. The aim is to tackle a complex social and system problem through a multi-stakeholder and innovation response.

When deciding on a priority health problem to tackle as a pilot, it wasn’t hard for Namibian health leaders to choose maternal health. Between 2000 and 2006, maternal mortality jumped to 449 deaths per 100 000 births, an increase of 178 deaths…”

Read the full article,  Namibia:Health Authorities Tackle Maternal Mortality.

Rwanda: A Call for Maternal Death Audits

“…As a strategic move to curb the maternal death rate further and achieve millennium development goal 5, the government recently extended the fight to the village level.

This was announced recently by the Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Sezibera, during a meeting that was held with a visiting US medical team to discuss Rwanda’s health progress.

During the discussions, Sezibera noted that it was imperative to engage the community in fighting maternal death rates so that leaders at the village level can identify the causes of these deaths in bid to find a lasting solution.

‘This year we started maternal death audits in villages because we believe that social audits on death causes will enable authorities identify answers to this problem,’ the minister said…”

Read the full article, Rwanda: Maternal Mortality Control Extends to Village Level.

Nigeria: Improving Access to Primary Health Care and Safe Delivery

“Health System Development Project II, a World Bank assisted project has commissioned two Comprehensive Primary Health Centres at Dagiri community in Gwagwalada and Dabi village at Kwali.

The Health Centres are to address the high rate of maternal and child mortality cases in the country, said Mrs Anne Okigbo-fisher, World Bank task team leader during the hand over ceremony of the centres. She said Nigeria records 10 percent of the world’s maternal mortality rates out of the 524,000 women that die yearly during child birth, adding that approximately 99 percent of the mortality rate is due to child birth complications in developing countries.

According to her the objective of HSDP II is to reduce such complications and improve safe delivery in the country…”

Read the full article, Nigeria: World Bank Commissions N104 Million Hospitals in Abuja.

Kenya: Human Rights Impacting Maternal Health

Amnesty International calls on Kenya’s Parliament to ensure that the draft Constitution of Kenya upholds respect for, the protection and fulfilment of all human rights. The draft Constitution should retain social and economic rights as enforceable rights. In addition, the organization also calls on Parliament to remove the provision stipulating that the right to life begins at conception and if the article on abortion access is retained, provide for abortion for rape victims…

…If the Constitution explicitly limits women’s access to abortion services, it must, at least ensure women’s access to safe and timely abortion services in cases of risk to the life or health of the woman or pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. Such an exemption is required by international law and is required by the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, which Kenya signed in 2003. In view of the high number of maternal deaths resulting from abortion complications, the State should protect women’s right to life by ensuring meaningful access to sexual and reproductive health services including information and contraception and commit to address sexual violence and coercion…”

Read the full article, Kenya: New Constitution Must Ensure Rights for All.

Uganda: A Call for an Independent Maternal Health Ministry

“An independent ministry should be set up to handle maternal health, the deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has said.

‘Who is planning for women’s health in this country? Basic things like antibiotics, oxytocins (drugs that help manage bleeding) which cost sh300 and manual vacuum aspirators to remove retained products from the womb are not there,’ she told journalists at a briefing on the state of maternal health on Friday…”

Read the full story, Uganda: Kadaga Wants Independent Maternal Health Ministry.

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Doctors in Nicaragua refuse to provide Amalia, a Nicaraguan woman with a ten year old daughter, with the care that she needs to fight her cancer. Chemotherapy could save her but it might also harm or lead to the death of her baby—and doctors fear legal consequences of performing a therapeutic abortion.

RH Reality Check

This article explains how the revised penal code (that stipulates prison sentences for girls and women who seek abortion services and for health professionals who provide abortion services) is inconsistent with Nicaragua’s Obstetric Rules and Protocols that are issued by the Ministry of Health. The article also tells Amalia’s personal story, putting a human face on the issue of access to therapeutic abortions in Nicaragua.

Read the article here.

Click here to read Amnesty International’s report on the abortion ban in Nicaragua–and watch a short video on the issue.

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For over two years, Amnesty International has been researching maternal health and investigating maternal death in Burkina Faso.

Amnesty International

In five days, the organization will release a report on the state of maternal health in Burkina Faso and launch a caravan campaign that will travel throughout the country raising awareness around the issue of maternal mortality.

“Amnesty International went to Burkina Faso four times to conduct research in several cities including the capital, Ouagadougou, as well as Bobo-Dioulasso, Ouahigouya and Kaya. Amnesty International also visited a dozen rural areas throughout the country. Researchers investigated over 50 cases of women who died during pregnancy and childbirth…”

Read the full story here.


Take a look at this video showing highlights of the 2009 Amnesty International maternal mortality caravan campaign in Sierra Leone:

As part of the countdown to the launch of the campaign, Amnesty International is sharing the stories of women who have died of pregnancy complications in Burkina Faso. See below for an excerpt from one of the stories:

“…Safiatou’s husband told Amnesty International: ‘The day of her delivery, she was in good health and worked all afternoon as usual without any problem. She prepared tô [a local dish made from maize flour] for her children and went to get the hay for the animals. In the evening, when her labour began, she left for her mother’s home. Her mother came to warn me that she was not well, that we had to take her to the clinic. I do not have a motorcycle, so I had to go and get one. That made us lose time.’ The husband added that he ‘did not know that she should have delivered at the clinic. When I came to fetch her at her mother’s house, she had lost consciousness.’ The husband borrowed a small motorcycle from his neighbour…”

Learn more about Safiatou here.

A man holding a picture of his wife who died in childbirth, Burkina Faso. Copyright Anna Kari

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