21 September 2011
Co-authored by Julio Frenk, Dean of the Faculty, Harvard School of Public Health
"Often the women don't have clean water, we find that there are a lot of difficulties, especially with home deliveries. They draw the water from shallow wells, yes, it's quite difficult. And that usually causes a lot of infections. It is very dangerous for the woman and the child when there is poor hygiene. A lot of infections can occur."
Today at a high level meeting, the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, will review progress made since the launch a year ago of the Global Strategy on Women's and Children's Health.
For Clara Muchimba, the midwife at Chikuni Mission Hospital in Zambia quoted above, the discussions in New York may well seem like a world away -- but if we get this right, the initiative will have a positive impact on the lives of the mothers and children Clara cares for, as well as millions of others around the globe.