Dr. Robert Walley
MaterCare International has drafted a Charter of Maternal Rights it hopes will be adopted by leaders and decision makers around the world to help stem the high number of maternal deaths.
The charter was drafted with the goal of changing the neglect that mothers in much of the world experience, said Dr. Robert Walley, executive director of the organization of Catholic health professionals working with mothers and babies around the world.
Walley said paying attention to the needs of mothers and their children has “hardly been a high priority with anybody.”
The charter, which draws its substance from statistics as well as sources including the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the documents of the Second Vatican Council, focuses on the human rights of mothers, the delivery of maternal health care and necessary actions by obstetricians and midwives to provide adequate health care.
“The causes of maternal deaths are well known, are readily preventable and can be successfully treated at comparable low cost,” the charter reads.
“Proper measures, availability of skilled personnel at the time of birth and prompt emergency obstetrical care if things go wrong may save the lives of 90 percent of the mothers.”