TEDxChange sparks conversation on key RMNCH issues

10 APRIL 2012

Convened by PMNCH partner Melinda Gates, and hosted by TED’s Chris Anderson, last week’s TEDxChange event encouraged important conversations surrounding critical reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) issues—such as access to family planning for women in developing countries.

Using the example of women who live in sub-Saharan African countries, Melinda noted that injectable contraceptives are popular because "they can hide it from their husbands" who often want a lot of children. But every time a woman in Senegal, for example, goes to get the injection it's out of stock. An astounding 150 days out of the year, it's not available—a Senegalese women might walk for miles and miles, sometimes leave her children and find she's got no contraception access after all.

"There are a hundred thousand women who say they don't want to be pregnant and they die in childbirth each year. Another 600,000 women who say they didn't want to be pregnant in the first place, give birth to a baby and their baby dies in first month in life. I know everyone wants to save these mothers and children but somewhere along the way we got confused by our own conversations on these issues and stopped trying to save these lives.

In other words, we're not talking about abortion or population control. I'm talking about giving women the power to save their lives, their children's lives and give their families the best popular future," Melinda told the crowd.

More details from this event are available at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s blogsite (link is on the right handside).

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