Don't forget mothers this Sunday

This Mother's Day, the Methodist Relief andDevelopment Fund (MRDF) is highlighting the fact that todayover one thousand women worldwide will die in childbirth. The vastmajority of these deaths take place in the developing world, wheremothers can be up to 100 times more likely than their UKcounterparts not to survive giving birth.

'This mother's day we hope that people will remember the familiesthat have needlessly lost a mother today - and the loss ofpotential that these deaths represent. While we can be glad that inthe UK, maternal mortality is increasingly rare, it is a scandalthat so many women worldwide are still dying simply because theyare poor.' said MRDF Director Kirsty Smith.

Lack of affordable and accessible health care is one reason forhigh maternal mortality rates. In Mali, where approximately 500women die for every 100,000 live births, MRDF partner organisationsaim to tackle this problem in the communities where they work.Local volunteers are trained to safely deliver babies and toprovide pre- and post-natal care for women in remote and ruralcommunities. Djouraba KonŽ, who gave birth to her son Yacou underthe care of a trained birth attendant, is just one of the motherswho have benefited from the simple, low-cost techniques which helpto improve the chances of survival for both mother and child.

Action is taking place on a global scale as well. In 2000, worldleaders agreed the Millennium Development Goals, a set of targetsto reduce poverty that included the commitment to reduce maternalmortality rates by three quarters by 2015.

It is now half way to 2015, yet little has changed for mothers incountries like Mali. 'To make a lasting difference, we need worldleaders to stand by their promises,' explained Kirsty Smith. 'We'reurging you to join MRDF supporters and others on 2 June this yearto raise your voice against poverty - and ensure that more womenlike Djouraba live to see their children grow up.'