CARE Learning Tour in Ethiopia Showcases U.S. Investments in Maternal Health – Sacramento Bee

April 9, 2010

— Delegation of Lawmakers and Advocates, Including Christy Turlington Burns and Jenna Bush Hagar, Explore Ways to Improve U.S. Policies Related to Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in Ethiopia —

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — CARE President and CEO Dr. Helene Gayle will travel this week to Ethiopia to lead a high-level delegation Learning Tour with lawmakers and advocates to explore long-term U.S. government investments in maternal, child and newborn health. Through investments in health care, Ethiopia has recently made great strides in improving maternal health. Since 2000, its maternal mortality rate has dropped more than 28 percent.  But despite advances, USAID estimates 20,000 new mothers will die in Ethiopia this year—more than in almost any other nation.

The Learning Tour delegation, which includes Representatives Aaron Schock (R-Ill) and Laura Richardson (D-Calif); CARE Advocate for Maternal Health Christy Turlington Burns; Co-director of Georgetown’s O’Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law and former U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Dr. Mark Dybul; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Program Officer Deb Derrick; and NBC News’ The Today Show Contributing Correspondent Jenna Bush Hager, will meet with Ethiopian officials, civil society organizations and medical workers to explore ways to support and improve U.S. policies related to maternal, newborn and child health.  CARE will report the delegation’s findings and recommendations to the public following the trip.

“CARE’s community-based health initiatives are saving women’s lives throughout Ethiopia,” said Dr. Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE. “Access to skilled care, quality emergency obstetric care, immediate post-partum care for mothers and newborns, and voluntary family planning education and services would prevent nearly all maternal deaths. This trip is an extraordinary opportunity to see firsthand the impact of our work in the most remote regions of Ethiopia.”

Founded in 1945, CARE is one of the world’s largest humanitarian aid agencies.  Working side by side with poor people in 72 countries, CARE helps empower communities to address the greatest threats to their survival.  Women are at the heart of CARE’s efforts to improve health, education and economic development because experience shows that a woman’s achievements yield dramatic benefits for her entire family.  CARE also is committed to providing lifesaving assistance during times of crisis, and helping rebuild safer, stronger communities afterward. To learn more, visit www.care.org.