In the time it takes to read this page, a woman will have died of a pregnancy-related complication.
Her death will be both a private and a public tragedy. It will leave an indelible mark on her family, affecting forever the health and well-being of her surviving children.
When added to the hundreds of thousands like her who die every minute of every year, her death will also rob fragile countries of their most precious resource – the intelligence and resourcefulness of women.
The figures are stark, and the injustices they illustrate unmistakable. The health of mothers is the greatest divide between rich and poor nations.
Women in developing countries are 300 times more likely to die than those in the industrialized world. Eighty per cent of those deaths could be prevented by simple, often low-cost treatments, and quality obstetrics care.
We have the solutions. All that is required is the will to implement them.