Saving Mothers, Giving Life was launched with the goal of supporting countries where women are dying at alarming rates during pregnancy and childbirth to aggressively reduce maternal mortality.

In March 2012, the Saving Mothers, Giving Life partners traveled to several of the key districts in Uganda and Zambia to meet with local government officials, healthcare workers, community leaders, and mothers to collaborate on the program and identify solutions. Please view the video below to learn more about their journey and maternal mortality in Africa.

This video was narrated by Christy Turlington Burns, Founder of Every Mother Counts.

Global partners, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Every Mother Counts, the Government of Norway, Merck for Mothers and Project C.U.R.E. have joined the U.S. Government in working towards achieving this ambitious goal.

The five-year effort intends to help mothers during labor, delivery, and the first 24 hours postpartum – the most vulnerable period for maternal and newborn death.

Saving Mothers began with select districts in Uganda and Zambia, which are among the countries with the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world. It is focused in countries with the political will and commitment to reduce maternal mortality in a significant way. In Uganda, Saving Mothers, Giving Life focuses on the districts of Kabarole, Kibaale, Kamwenge, and Kyenjojo. In Zambia, the initiative focuses on the Lundazi, Nyimba, Kalomo, and Mansa districts.

Ongoing Commitment to Maternal & Child Health

Saving mothers and children is a key focus of the U.S. Global Health Initiative (GHI) and a natural outgrowth of President Obama and Secretary Clinton's overall work on improving the lives of women and children across the globe.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) along with the U.S. Departments of State, Defense, Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Peace Corps, are bringing the vast skills and expertise of these agencies to support SMGL-supported interventions that protect mothers and newborns during labor and delivery.

There have been remarkable reductions in maternal and child mortality in many countries over the past 20 years. Yet, research has shown that mothers' lives cannot be saved by any one intervention alone. Dramatically reducing maternal mortality will require a broad approach, significant resources and expertise. That's why in order to strengthen local healthcare systems and provide comprehensive, integrated and timely maternal care, Saving Mothers, Giving Life programs will build on the success of other global health and national platforms already in place, such as:

  • Existing national health plans and services
  • The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)'s HIV/AIDS efforts
  • USAID's maternal and child health programs
  • The UN Secretary General's "Every Woman, Every Child" campaign

A cornerstone of the Saving Mothers, Giving Life effort is the global partnership where respective strengths, experience, methodologies, and resources will be coordinated or pooled in order to reduce maternal mortality in a significant way.