Deliver Now for Women and Children launch in India
11 April 2008 Delhi - "Deliver Now for Women and Children”, a global campaign to reduce maternal and child death was launched today by the White Ribbon Alliance of India to mark ‘National Safe Motherhood Day’.
With more than half a million women dying in pregnancy an childbirth, of whom over 70,000 are in India, Deliver Now is a much needed call for greater political commitment, increased investment in health services and support for communities to demand better access to quality health care.
Addressing the press conference, Dr. Aparajita Gogoi, National Coordinator of WRAI said, “This campaign will aim at creating political will required to stop these needlessa deaths im our country” The campaign will begin in 12 districts in Orissa where public hearings will be organized as forum as a space for women and communities to voice their demands. Workshops will be conducted in rural areas by self help group, Panchayat Raj institutions and health service providers supporting maternal and child health issues. Media outreach programs such as Radio-listener clubs will be initiated to provide feedback to media producers on the kind of information and life saving messages that the media can help disseminate.
Celebrity activist, Shabana Azmi, has espoused WRAI’s cause as the Ambassador for Safe Motherhood, an awareness drive by WRAI to safeguard a mother’s health during pregnancy. Kathak danceuse Shovana Narayan, a Padmashree awardee is WRAI’s Champion for Safe Motherhood and Subir Malik from the rock band, Parikrama, is the Youth Icon for Safe Motherhood.
Dr. Bulbul Sood, Co-Chair of WRAI, who said that to stop these deaths, “one must reach, influence, and involve all relevant segments of society from the national to the community level”.
Addressing the launch meeting, Shabana Azmi said, “Safe Motherhood is a fundamental right. The failure to ensure adequate access to health services coupled with the failure to recognize life-threatening complications during pregnancy and childbirth results in millions of preventable deaths. Deliver Now is a promise we must make to ourselves and to women and children all over the world. Dr Vinod Paul who represented the PMNCH, said that the campaign's aim is to reinvigorate action towards the 2015 health targets agreed to by the global community in 2000, for which progress has been very slow”.
The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood in India (WRAI) was launched in November 1999. Today the WRAI membership at the national level is 80 organizations with five state chapters involving almost a 1500 organizational memberships.
The WRAI’s approach is based on social mobilization which stresses on the fact that positive behaviour needs to be inculcated towards bringing a social change and create an enabling environment through planned actions and processes.