As we celebrate Mother's Day this year, we appreciate our good fortune of living in a country where health care is assumed and very few children die at birth or soon after.
Unfortunately that is not true in the developing world, where 6.3 million children die annually, mostly of preventable causes, before they reach the age of 5. Additionally, 289,000 mothers die from pregnancy- related complications. We currently have the technology to prevent most of these deaths.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) administers large sums of money that the U.S. provides for elimination of these deaths within 20 years. But unfortunately the USAID has been inefficient due to bureaucratic decentralization of services.
This global goal can be achieved, but this will require greater accountability. A bill in Congress would hold the USAID accountable for a more effective approach to ending preventable maternal and child deaths.
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As you celebrate with your families on Mother's Day, please contact your members of Congress and let them know this legislation is important to you and that we need to do a better job saving lives of people dying needlessly.