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Nightingale Initiative event spotlights maternal health


With pregnancy- and childbirth-related complications killing 287,000 women or girls worldwide each year, the “Daring Caring & Sharing — To Save Mothers’ Lives” campaign sought to mobilize public commitment to solving the issue with an event Oct. 21 in midtown Manhattan.

As a choir sang, a procession of nurses, midwives and nursing students filed into St. Bart’s Chuch on Park Avenue, signifying their willingness to join in the effort to bolster worldwide maternal health.

The event, hosted by the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health, was an interfaith celebration of maternal health with a simultaneous worldwide webcast. (To view photos and a video of the service, visit

Invitations for the event were sent to the global nursing and midwifery community; select American nursing leaders; key stakeholders committed to the health and well-being of humanity, with a focus on maternal health; the United Nations community, particularly those based in New York City; and representatives, based in and around New York City, of all 193 UN member states.

The event, sponsored in part by, was the start of a three-year global campaign to deepen global public awareness by significantly raising the levels of informed concern and commitment to improving health around the world. “The initiative is a catalytic grassroots-to-global movement to increase concern for the global health of the world and to empower nurses and midwives and concerned citizens to participate,” said Deva Marie-Beck, RN, PhD, international co-director of the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health.

Campaign objectives include:

• Raising the level of informed concern and personal commitment to deepen public awareness and action to “improve maternal health,” which is Goal No. 5 in the UN’s Millennium Development campaign.

• Valuing the contributions of nurses and midwives to achieving that goal and all Millennium Development goals locally and globally.

• Increasing awareness about maternal health needs, particularly in marginalized areas where hospital obstetrical care is limited or non-existent.

• Communicating these national and global concerns widely to reach and involve nurses, midwives and concerned citizens around the world.

• Informing and inspiring networks of nursing and midwifery leaders and other stakeholders to become collaborators to address these concerns and involve their networks in this outreach.

• Developing the campaign with online, broadcast, print, mass media and related onsite strategies.

• Creating a campaign global launch out of the event to include interfaith experiences, reflections, music and sacred dance, including simultaneous worldwide webcast and online posting thereafter.


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