The startling statistics on maternal and infant mortality offer perhaps the most disheartening evidence of human poverty. These statistics exceed the worst tragedies that we read about in Japan, Haiti, Africa, Thailand, etc. Worse - these human tragedies occur daily, year in and year out.
A German Red Cross worker holds a one month-old baby as he takes his last breath and dies. His mother died giving birth to him one month ago. The boy's relatives kept him barely alive on sugar and water. But without mother's milk, he couldn't survive.
Each day over 25,000 children age five and below die from starvation - that's 9 million children every year. (Starvation due to internal wars accounts for less than 10%)
350,000 mothers die every year, or one mother every minute from the Reproductive Health causes of:
- Complications of Pregnancy.
We know that:
- "Nearly all these maternal deaths could be prevented."
International Report from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, called "Savings Women's Lives"
- "Believe it or not: Family Planning could bring more benefits at less cost than any other single technology now available to the Human Race."
UNICEF "State of the World's Children"
Rotary International is now moving to address these human tragedies through its programs of Humanitarian Service.