Bill and Melinda Gates released their annual letter yesterday, making predictions, setting goals, and issuing challenges for the next 15 years.
They believe that the next 15 years will be particularly transformational for world's poorest:"The lives of people in poor countries will improve faster in the next 15 years than at any other time in history. And their lives will improve more than anyone else's."
They highlight four areas of change in their letter. They are all worth reading, but the number one area of attention is health, specifically children's health. Child mortality has been falling dramatically, but newborn mortality hasn't enjoyed the steep decline other groups have, and maternal deaths are still far too common in some countries.
More than 287,000 women die annually from complications during pregnancy or childbirth leaving more than 1 million children motherless. Many of the youngest of those children won’t survive. Hope Through Healing Hands advocates for maternal, newborn, and child health with a special emphasis on healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies.
Bill and Melinda Gates are betting on major breakthroughs in the next 15 years. We agree that we should be able to accomplish astounding things by 2030. But for mothers and babies, the future is even closer. If 120 million women get access to family planning resources, 3 million fewer babies will die in their first year of life by 2020, and 200,000 fewer women and girls will die in childbirth.
It will be a radical change. Will you join us?