As schools start this August, the streets fill with laughter of children running to and from school. Flying home from summer vacations would not be the same without at least one crying infant. It is easy to take our posterity for granted when they seem to surround us.
However, childbirth and early childhood can be one of the most dangerous times for a person. Modern medicine has largely decreased the threat of diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhea; that is not the case around the world. Each year, 5.6 million children die from preventable, treatable causes. Further, over 300,000 women die from pregnancy-related causes every year, according to the World Health Organization.
Numbers are one thing, but think about the effects. Infant mortality correlates directly with the socioeconomic status of a community, according to the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs. Increased poverty plus the pain when a mother or child passes will only increase upset in tumultuous areas.
We can act. The U.S. is a global leader in saving mothers’ and children’s lives using various techniques. However, the U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID, has faced internal challenges. The Reach Every Mother and Child Act proposes reforms that would offer a direct plan to help save mothers and children. The act would hold USAID accountable, focus their efforts and make them more effective. Two of our congressmen have signed the Reach Act. For that, we graciously thank you, Reps. Mia Love and Chris Stewart. I hope we can also urge Reps. Rob Bishop and John Curtis and Sen. Mike Lee to support this act and allow the world’s posterity to flourish.
Kelsey Lassen, Salt Lake City