May 28th marks the annual International Day of Action for Women’s Health. Celebrated for over 30 years, it will bring together advocates across the world to work towards action for women’s health.
Every woman has the right to healthcare and the highest attainable standard of health. Achieving global quality care includes making sure every childbearing woman has a clean, safe birth, which is at the heart of Soapbox’s work.
Over 800 women die from pregnancy-related complications every day. A significant proportion of these deaths are due to infection, often caused by unsanitary environments. The work of Soapbox focuses on infection prevention and control, preventing infections that can lead to serious illness or even death.
In many low- and middle-income countries, women lack access to the basic healthcare facilities and standards essential for safe delivery. Though maternal deaths have nearly halved since 1990, there is still a long way to go. The maternal mortality ratio is the health indicator with the largest disparity between high and low-income countries with 99% of maternal deaths occurring in low-income countries. Maternal mortality is often taken to be a reflection of gender inequality, demonstrating the lack of attention paid to maternal health in comparison to health conditions which impact both sexes. Maternal mortality is also taken as an indicator of a country’s level of development, correlated with women’s social status, including their nutritional status, access to education, and income. The International Day of Action for Women’s Health advocates the need for health and rights to be addressed equally across all countries and cultures, working to close this unjust gap.
At Soapbox we believe in women’s right to access skilled and high-quality health care during childbirth. Through interventions such as the training of healthcare workers in infection prevention, and strengthening the infrastructure of maternity units, Soapbox is taking action to improve women’s health and the quality of healthcare they receive.
The International Day of Action for Women’s Health is a crucial call for all partners and organisations working in the field, to make sure every woman has access to respectful, quality, safe care. Together we can create an impact and save lives.