Christy Turlington Burns and Every Mother Counts Team Up with Texas Children’s Hospital to Promote Global Maternal Health
Film event highlights healthcare challenges for pregnant women
HOUSTON, March 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In an effort to raise awareness about maternal and child health, Texas Children’s Hospital and Every Mother Counts (EMC) are teaming up for a very special one-night event hosted by global maternal health advocate and founder of EMC, Christy Turlington Burns. The evening will include a reception screening of Turlington Burns’ first documentary, No Woman, No Cry, and a Q&A session with Dr. Mark W. Kline, physician-in-chief at Texas Children’s Hospital, chair of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and founder of the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative, Dr. Michael A. Belfort, obstetrician and gynecologist-in-chief at Texas Children’s Hospital and professor and chairman of the Department of Obstetrics at Baylor College of Medicine and Christy Turlington Burns. Special guests attending the event include Miss Universe 2011 and Miss Angola Leila Lopes, and Miss Teen USA 2011 and Miss Texas Danielle Doty.
The event, which will take place at Houston’s Sundance Cinema, drives home a message that is a major focus for the hospital. Texas Children’s Global Health Initiative is dedicated to addressing major causes of maternal and child morbidity and mortality globally. It provides screening, treatment and education to positively impact critical global health issues affecting children and families such as HIV/AIDS, sickle cell disease, malaria, tuberculosis, malnutrition, cancer and maternal health.
“We believe it is our moral obligation to create programs that can literally change the world by positively impacting the health of children and families and Every Mother Counts shares our beliefs and goals,” said Dr. Kline. “Together, we can do much to raise awareness about the need for improved maternal health and move forward establishing models and standards of care, reducing the needless loss of life in childbirth globally.”
An advocacy and mobilization campaign to increase education and funding for maternal and child health, EMC supports the achievement of MDG 5, one of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) established in 2000, which strives to reduce the global rates of maternal mortality by three-fourths by 2015. Of all the goals laid out in the MDG summit, MDG 5 has shown the least progress. According to the World Health Organization, 1,000 women around the world die every day from complications during pregnancy or childbirth that in most cases could have been prevented with basic healthcare.
Turlington Burns, who is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School, was inspired to create the EMC campaign in part due to her personal experience with a complication following child birth.
“After delivering my first child, I endured a childbirth complication called postpartum hemorrhage, which is often life-threatening. I survived because I had access to a qualified team of health workers, including a doula, midwife and OB,” said Turlington Burns. “When I learned that a thousand mothers die each day, mostly in developing countries, from complications caused by pregnancy and childbirth because they did not have access to care I knew I needed to understand why, when a mother’s life is so vital to the health and well being of her children, family, and community–no matter where she lives, do we not value every woman’s life in the same way? It’s not acceptable that women should have to risk their lives to give birth–especially when almost all of these deaths are preventable.”
In an effort to garner wide-spread attention for this issue, Tulington Burns produced and directed No Woman, No Cry, an emotionally charged film that follows the stories of women in Tanzania, Bangladesh, Guatemala and the United States as they face critical junctures in their pregnancies. The documentary explores the barriers millions of women face when trying to access critical care throughout their pregnancies and while delivering, along with the often-simple solutions that could save their lives.
About Texas Children’s Global Health Initiative
The maternal health initiative is led by Dr. Michael Belfort, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine and builds upon the fifteen years of experience and expertise of the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative at Texas Children’s Hospital (BIPAI), led and founded by Dr. Mark Kline. BIPAI operates a network of clinics and satellite centers across southern and eastern Africa and in Eastern Europe. BIPAI clinics provide HIV/AIDS treatment for about 80,000 children, more than any other program worldwide.
About Every Mother Counts
Every Mother Counts is a five-year outreach campaign that is dedicated to improving maternal health and reducing maternal mortality around the world by engaging the public, raising awareness and driving action. EMC was founded in 2010 by mother, activist, women’s health advocate and fashion icon Christy Turlington Burns.
About Houston Cinema Arts Society (HCAS)
Houston Cinema Arts Society is a non-profit organization created in 2008. With the support of former Houston Mayor Bill White and the leadership of Franci Crane, HCAS organized and hosted the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Cinema Arts Festival Houston, a groundbreaking and innovative arts festival featuring films and new media by and about artists in the visual, performing, and literary arts. The festival celebrates the vitality and diversity of the arts in Houston and enriches the city’s film and arts community. HCAS is funded in part by the Crane Foundation, Levantine Entertainment, Houston First Corporation, The Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston Arts Alliance through the City of Houston, Houston Film Commission and Texas Film Commission, and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The fourth annual Cinema Arts Festival Houston will be held Nov. 7-11, 2012.
CONTACT: Christy Brunton, Texas Children’s Hospital, +1-832-824-2645, email@example.com
SOURCE Texas Children’s Hospital