Friday, March 28, 2008

Feminist Activist: Arlene Samen, founder, One H.E.A.R.T.

After a trip to Tibet opened her eyes to the high infant and maternal mortality in developing countries, Arlene Samen helped create One H.E.A.R.T. (Health Education And Research in Tibet).

"'When I came to Tibet I heard of so many tragic stories of women dying -- no access to care in remote areas, no history of trained birth attendants, and no knowledge about pregnancy and childbirth,' Samen recalls.

It is a problem that stretches well beyond Tibet's borders. According to the World Health Organization, more than 500,000 women worldwide die each year as a result of complications during pregnancy and childbirth, and nearly 7 million babies are either born dead or die within 28 days of their life. Almost all these deaths occur in the developing world.

Since 1998, One H.E.A.R.T has worked to set up centers that teach and educate local nurse practitioners, villagers and expectant mothers on how to deliver and care for newborn babies. A huge part of the organization's instruction includes hands-on birthing demonstration and distribution of community-tailored birth kits."

Thanks, Arlene Samen, for helping provide women with information that keeps them, and their children, alive and safe.

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