Houston: The American branch of a charitable organisation founded by an Indian has collected over USD 60,000 to be spent on works towards putting an end to maternal and infant mortality in India.
Save A Mother-Houston Chapter, that works to decrease maternal and infant mortality in India, held an event here to raise funds around Mothers Day and collected over USD 60,000 out of which a little over USD 11,000 was raised from attendees during live pledges in less than six minutes.
According to a recent World Health Organisation report, approximately 28 million pregnancies, 26 million live births, 67,000 maternal deaths and a million neonatal deaths occur every year in India. Besides, there are about 42 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, five stillbirths per 1,000 deliveries and 178 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.
Save A Mother (SAM), founded in 2008 by consultant physician in the Chicago area Dr Shiban Ganju, works in over 800 villages in Uttar Pradesh to decrease maternal and infant mortality. It partners with local health and governmental authorities to ensure the sustainability of its solutions.
Board member Rupa Iyer, who is the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies at the College of Technology at the University of Houston, gave a short presentation entitled Developing Sustainable Health Solutions which focused on the mission of SAM in India.
Iyer shared her own experience of having an operation to cut open her stomach and have half her uterus and still being able to deliver three sons.
"But here in the US, I had knowledgeable medical people and access to good healthcare," she said, adding that she wanted to provide the same to village women in India, "and that's why SAM is important to me".
At the event, teen volunteer Ishya Kachru performed a solo with resounding Adele number "Rolling in the Deep". Local singers performed on Bollywood numbers.
"SAM runs a program of seven health practices which include regular meetings and discussions in the community, personal hygiene, pregnancy best practices, infant care, cooperation with public health workers, child immunisation and nutrition, adolescence health education," SAM's chapter president Veena Kaul said.