World Vision Romania
article • Friday, June 23rd 2017

Press Release: “Mothers for Life. Life for Mothers” project introduced at the European Parliament

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  • One in ten women within the European Union does not have access to maternal care services during the first months of pregnancy and in 2015 over 1,800 maternal deaths have been reported.
  • In Romania one out of five women did not have any medical examination before they gave birth.
  • Access to a maternal care package must be equal and equitable for all women, regardless of their status and nationality and the existing barriers can be removed through aligning the maternal care policies to all other relevant policies.

 

22 June 2017, Bucharest 

“Mothers for Life. Life for Mothers”, the most extensive project to decrease maternal mortality in Romania, implemented by World Vision Romania Foundation together with the pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) Romania, was presented at the European Parliament on 20 June 2017 in a high level meeting organised by Women Political Leaders Global Forum (WPL).  

The meeting took place under the patronage of Her Excellency Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta, with support from MSD for Mothers and was attended by important European political leaders, regional, European and national decision-makers. Among speakers we mention: Xavier Prats Monné, General Director of DG Sante, Silvana Koch-Mehrin, Founder, Women Political Leaders Global Forum, Gesine Meissner-MEP (ALDE Germany), Julie Ward, MEP (S&D–UK), Naveen Rao, Global President of MSD for Mothers Initiative, Dr. Cornelia Scărlătescu,“Mothers for Life. Life for Mothers” project manager, World Vision Romania and Marc Tarabella, MEP (S&D–Belgium).

The main goal of the discussion was to design initiatives regarding national and European development intervention models aiming to facilitate access to maternal care services to all women coming from vulnerable communities, in light of the principle that maternal health is a fundamental human right. 

One in ten women within the European Union does not have access to maternal care services during the first months of pregnancy and in 2015 over 1,800 maternal deaths have been reported. “Ending maternal mortality involves several factors and the approach must be multi sectorial. No entity will succeed by itself to solve this major problem; there is a need to create a partnership. 365 days a year mothers are entirely dedicated to their children and families. For only one day a year they need major care and support; that is the day they give birth. Unfortunately many of them do not receive this support”, stated Dr. Naveen Rao, Global President of MSD for Mothers Initiative.

In Romania one out of five women did not have any medical examination before they gave birth and the maternal mortality rate is twice as high as the average EU rate-27, three times higher than in Slovakia, Slovenia and Bulgaria, six times higher than in Italy and Spain and almost ten times higher than in Austria and Poland.

“This pilot project is replicable at national level within all vulnerable communities and I think this extension is necessary in order to meet the objective that mothers no longer die during giving birth in Romania. One single mother that dies at birth is already too much. I am glad that the participants at this high level event appreciated the integrated, cost-effective and innovative solutions that we implement through this project and I am happy that they consider our solutions applicable at European level as well, targeting vulnerable women, either refugees, migrants, Roma or poor”, stated Dr. Cornelia Scărlătescu Paraschiv, “Mothers for Life. Life for Mothers” project manager, World Vision Romania.

 

Access to a maternal care package must be equal and equitable for all women, regardless of their status and nationality and the existing barriers can be removed through aligning the maternal care policies to all other relevant policies. In order to achieve these objectives, in the operational workshop that took place during the second part of the meeting, the participants prioritised the main leverages and actions to be taken.

The “Mothers for Life. Life for Mothers” project is an integrated model of solutions aiming to improve the access to quality prenatal and reproductive health care in rural Romania. Implemented within 30 local communities in Dolj, Vâlcea and Vaslui districts. The project is considered an example of good practices within European initiatives aiming to decrease infant and maternal mortality rates. 

The project objectives are addressing three levels: 1. increase the competences of the medical service providers in rural communities, 2. support women in accessing healthcare services and 3. Strengthen the capacity of authorities.      

The project targets 15,000 women from rural areas in three districts, 225 medical service providers and local authorities within 30 communities from Valcea, Dolj and Vaslui county.

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