THIS Report Shows How We Can Save Two Million Mothers And Babies By BILL GATES

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This report shows how we can save two million mothers and babies.
A nurse checks on mother and her baby
By Bill Gates | September 12, 2023
At the Gates Foundation, September is synonymous with the release of our annual Goalkeepers Report.




It tracks the progress being made worldwide on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals—and there is definitely progress to share.




But in this year’s report, we’re calling attention to the progress that hasn’t been made, especially on two fronts: ending all preventable child deaths and dramatically cutting the maternal mortality rate.





Every two minutes, a mother dies from complications due to childbirth, while two million babies are stillborn each year and five million children die before they reach their fifth birthday.

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These numbers aren’t coming down fast enough—and in some countries, including the United States, the maternal mortality rate has actually risen. If nothing drastic changes, we won’t reach the SDGs we’ve set for 2030.





It’s true that there are many new and complex issues confronting the world, from climate change-induced heat waves to recent advances in artificial intelligence. But we believe the oldest public health problem—the survival of mothers and babies—remains one of the most urgent.




That’s the first reason these two interconnected issues are our main focus this year. The second reason is that they’re also increasingly solvable.

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Researchers have learned more about the health of mothers and babies over the past decade than they did in the century before—everything from the exact diseases that are killing children, to the role anemia can play in increasing blood loss during childbirth, to previously unknown links between a baby’s health and their mother’s.
Imagine if doctors didn’t know why American men were susceptible to heart attacks—and then, in the span of two years, they discovered the links to high cholesterol and smoking.




As I explain in the report, that’s what happened with infant pneumonia and an intestinal bacterium called Klebsiella, and the new information is leading doctors to change how they prevent and treat disease.




Around the world, insights like this are being turned into innovations and practices with the power to save nearly 1,000 mothers and babies each day through the end of the decade… or two million lives. The report highlights many of them. That’s why, as sad as the statistics are, we hope the takeaway from this report is hope itself.




After all, in just ten years, the fields of child and maternal health moved faster and further than I thought I’d see in my lifetime. We’ve learned so much about how to protect women and babies. If our delivery of care can keep pace with our learning—and reach the communities where moms and kids need it most—we can save millions of lives.



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