It is a privilege to live in a country where health care can be taken for granted. As a woman who dealt with difficult pregnancies, I didn’t have to worry about whether or not I could afford the doctors, tests and treatment that I needed. When my first son struggled with weight gain the doctors ran multiple tests to rule out any serious illness (he had none, he was just small). My second son contracted RSV at just six weeks old and was admitted to the hospital where he could be monitored and cared for. I had doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, lactation consultants and a host of other medical consultants available to me right away. Not everyone is so lucky.

MNCH (which stands for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health) is one of the most common acronyms used in discussions on global health. In Canada, we have access to health care and nutrition that ensure that MNCH deficiencies are the exception rather than the norm. In other parts of the world however, MNCH is of major concern as maternal and child mortality rates are unacceptably high. In 2015, 303,000 women around the world died of causes related to pregnancy or childbirth. The same year, the under-five mortality rate in low-income countries was 76 deaths per 1000 live births. Every day, more than 800 women die from pregnancy or child-birth related complications in developing countries.

ADRA Canada is a Canadian not-for-profit organization that is funded through Global Affairs Canada. Over the years, Canada has spearheaded a number of MNCH initiatives and contributed more than $3 billion to MNCH.

For the month of May, send a message of hope to moms in developing countries by posting a photo or video with your hands placed over your belly button in the shape of a heart. Share on your social media pages with the hashtag #heart4maternalhealth to encourage dialogue on issues related to global maternal health. You can make a difference by raising awareness and encouraging engagement on this issue!

Other ways to show you care:

  • Join the conversation about global MNCH challenges on Twitter, using the hashtag #Heart4MaternalHealth, retweet us and encourage your friends to join in
  • Follow us on Facebook and share our posts with your friends
  • Check out our Resources page to learn more about maternal and child health
  • Volunteer with us to help raise awareness among fellow Canadians
  • Support ongoing MNCH projects at ADRA Canada

Together we can make a difference for women and children around the world.



Influencer at Kidsumers
Sheri McDonald is a family lifestyle blogger who has been sharing her parenting and travel adventures online for the past eight years. You can find her discovering the world with her children when she's not at home enjoying a good book.


Lifestyle Blogger. Traveler. Writer. Social Media Marketer. @SunwingVacay #Kidcations Expert Panel. Member of ITWA @PTBAssoc IG: familyenroute
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