Ideagen’s 2016 Power 100 List and The Work of Every Mother Counts

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Ideagen has published its latest annual Power 100 List, highlighting the 100 individuals and organisations leading the way towards ‘Empowering Women and Girls Across the Planet’. It puts a spotlight on the leaders, luminaries, CEO’s, actors, ambassadors and presidents from around the world and across sectors that are changing the world with their ideas, leadership and vision to encourage and embolden women and girls. There are many known and expected names on the list such as Melinda and Bill Gates, Ban-Ki Moon, the UN Secretary General; and Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States and Let Girls Learn Initiative. There is one name that springs out: supermodel Christy Turlington Burns who is founder of Every Mother Counts (EMC).

EMC is a not-for-profit organisation, dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. Every year, 303,000 women die due to complications in pregnancy and in childbirth. That’s one woman every two minutes, leaving on average four orphans behind. Predictably, 99 percent of all maternal deaths take place in the developing world. EMC has important work cut out for itself and works hard to inform, engage and mobilise new audiences to take action and fundraise for maternal health programs around the world.

The organisation invests in programs globally to ensure all women have access to quality maternal healthcare. For example, in Northern Tanzania, it is providing 50 rural health centers with solar powered electricity, training health workers to prevent deaths and disabilities from postpartum hemorrhage and supporting the FAME Hospital with provisions of comprehensive pregnancy care and safe delivery, patient education and healthcare worker training. There is a shortage of trained healthcare workers; many health facilities lack the proper equipment and supplies, including reliable electricity, needed to provide quality obstetric care. Sadly, this means that an estimated 8,200 women and girls die here every year from pregnancy and childbirth complications.

Christy Turlington Burns, the founder is a mother, social entrepreneur and model, who fully understands childbirth complications, having gone through it herself. Christy has been recognised as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People; Glamour Magazine's Woman of The Year; and, in March, the organisation was recognised as one of Fast Company magazine’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Not-For-Profit. 

Here’s a lasting thought about the importance of EMC’s innovative and vital work: the US ranks 46th in the world for maternal health, with one in five women of reproductive age lacking health insurance and not enough women accessing quality prenatal care or education. EMC is providing pre- and postnatal care along with education for low-income, at-risk mothers in central Florida; it is expanding this model to other US cities. In rural Uganda, women on average, have to travel at least 13km to reach the nearest public health facility and often do so by foot. Thankfully, EMC is able to provide transportation vouchers to pregnant women, getting them to a clinic for complete prenatal care, safe delivery and follow-up visit.

Photo Credit: Every Mother Counts