Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers' Day: Developing World Mothering Gifts

The New York Times ran a wonderful feature this morning on the back of the Week in Review Section, What Do You Give the Developing World for Mother's Day?

Of course, the list is long. My gift would be solar lights and biodigesters, but the five columnists each touch on preventable health and pregnancy issues: stanching post-postpartum bleeding (at 3 cents a dose!), UNICEF's recognition that counseling needs to go along with food aid - hungry children of hungry mothers do way better if the moms can still play, cuddle, interact; this magnifies the food interventions remarkably. Continuing education for girls (lots of people working on this one, including my daughter! :-), and anti-fistula treatment.

I am the daughter of a healthy woman who had access to top of the line 1950's medical care and am a proud mother of two healthy, fine adults. Someone at a conference I attended recently spoke of genetic roulette - where you are born makes all the difference in where you get to in life. Being born into an upper middle class family means the basics are presumed. I just sent off an impulse contribution to the blood-stanching program - helping to re-engineer the odds just a wee bit so some mother's roll of the genetic dice may have a better outcome for her and her children.

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