Once again the remarkable parent blogging community rallied round to show their support for the women and children of the world. Yesterday, in New York, politicians, celebrities, the great and the good all gathered to decide how much they would give to save the lives of millions of mothers and babies who are dying when they shouldn’t.
And I was there. Representing you. Listening to see what they would come up with.
Somewhat to my surprise I found myself in a room with Desmond Tutu, Christy Turlington, 50 Cent, a Queen and leading politicians from around the world at the UN Every Woman Every Child event. Each stood and spoke for a minute pledging their commitment to saving the lives of women and children.
I felt under dressed and overwhelmed, standing in my jeans and shirt amongst the glitz and glamour. But then I remembered the 150+ bloggers calling for change, the 42 458 signature petition and the 3 million people we reached online. More than that I remembered the women and children we were shouting for and I realised that I had every right to be there to hear what these people had to say.
They didn’t promise enough but they went a long way and they talked the talk. If they come through on their pledges and commitments they will save the lives of many, many children and their mothers who would otherwise have died. However, we need to keep the pressure on, we need to hold them to account and ensure they keep the promises they make. We have a responsiblity to do so.
They didn’t go far enough with commitments to providing health workers for all and, as Ban Ki Moon pointed out, ‘frontline health workers are the unsung heroes and are in desperately short supply’. None of those people could walk away from this week without that call ringing in their ears and I am hopeful that the seed of need has been planted and, just the same as when I suggest a house improvement to my husband he has a think and then comes up with the same idea himself, they will brew on it and see what a good idea it is.
It is not rocket science. Health workers are the single most effective way of preventing needless maternal and infant deaths and of improving the health of whole communities.
At the beginning of the evening I was hiding at the back of the room, by the end I was sitting at the table reserved for ‘The Elders’ where Desmond Tutu had been earlier on in the proceedings. I was there because the voices of the parents in the UK matter. We care, we shout and we are heard.