EVERY May, we see photographs of beautiful moments of mothers with their children in television commercials, newspaper spreads, magazines and other media outlets. Various brands put up sales for gifts for mothers and floral arrangements popping up on the Internet and cards with messages of love for moms in gift stores and card shops. This is certainly around the time when we all celebrate Mother’s Day and shower the women who brought us in this world and raised us with much appreciation and love.
This recognition is nothing compared to the role mothers play in our lives; from giving birth to raising and supporting us at every step in life. What goes unrecognized is how essential mothers are in not just raising individuals but in nourishing nations. It is rather unfortunate that a person who plays such an integral role in the society has to go through a life-threatening phase to give birth in Pakistan.
To improve this situation, development organizations like USAID have made concerted efforts to save mothers and their children by adding service areas within public hospitals, training community midwives, and equipping traditional birth attendants with the latest skills. USAID has also reached out to mobilize communities and raise awareness on available safe medical support. USAID’s innovative approach – partnering with both government institutions and the private sector
It continues to make a visible impact. Since 2016, over 2 million women and children have accessed maternal, child, and reproductive health care services and over 3,000 healthcare providers have been trained by USAID alone. With the support of USAID, the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination (MoNHSRC) has taken steps to reduce the number of preventable deaths by promoting the use of chlorhexidine (a disinfectant and antiseptic) across the country. In Pakistan, this intervention is expected to prevent approximately 140,000 newborn deaths every year.
One of the most meaningful roles that a mother plays is of a nurturer. More than anything, mothers strive to put their children on the path to success. Children look to their mothers for encouragement as they navigate their early years, especially in school. Access to quality education remains ephemeral in many areas of Pakistan. USAID and the Government of Pakistan are working together to increase access to education at all levels.
USAID has built or refurbished over 1,400 schools across Pakistan since 2009. More than 35,000 teachers and school administrators have been trained since 2013 and 18000 scholarships have been awarded to talented students to attend higher education in Pakistan over the past eight years. Reading is the foundation of critical thinking. USAID is training thousands of teachers on how to teach reading, developed teaching and learning materials in Urdu, Sindhi, and Pashto and established classroom libraries in thousands of schools.
With access to education and better health services, mothers are becoming empowered to raise healthier and more informed citizens.More empowered mothers create more vibrant communities. Little more support, mothers can build an even stronger Pakistan. This Mother’s Day let us learn from our own mother the lessons of strength, hope, and courage. Our mothers bring us into this world and raise us to make it better. We shouldn’t disappoint them.