Established in 2006, White Ribbon Alliance–Pakistan’s mission is to promote an enabling environment for safe motherhood. The maternal mortality ratio in Pakistan is one of the highest in the world. More than two-thirds of pregnant women do not receive prenatal care, four out of five births are attended by unskilled persons, and only one out of ten women receives postpartum care. The Alliance envisages creating general awareness about and advocating for safe motherhood in Pakistan where, by the year 2020, each birth will be attended by a skilled birth attendant and all women will have easy and organized access to emergency obstetric care.
From six founding members, the Alliance’s membership today is more than 300 who belong to diverse and wide-ranging backgrounds from all over Pakistan. Together, we are making significant contributions toward developing government policies and programs in maternal and child health.
Success Stories – Past Events
A National Seminar on ‘Best Practices’ was held in Karachi in early October 2009. The event was sponsored by Pakistan Initiative for Mothers and Newborns (PAIMAN), a USAID funded project, and organized by White Ribbon Alliance, Pakistan (WRA-P). It was a historic seminar where the, “Karachi Declaration on Scaling up MNCH-FP Best Practices in Pakistan” was signed. Around 70 participants including the representatives from Provincial Health and Population Welfare Ministries, Government of AJ&K, FATA, Government of Gilgit and Baltistan, donor agencies and development partners attended the ceremony.
The seminar also included the signing ceremony of the Karachi Declaration. It is a historic pledge of Ministries and Departments of Health and Population Welfare to work in unison to scale-up selected high impact Best Practices in MNCH-FP and develop an action plan for their execution at Federal, Provincial and District levels. The secretaries in their remarks congratulated the Best Practices Pakistan Country Team on this achievement and expressed hope and support for the implementation of the declaration. The key note addresses were followed by question answer sessions where by the participants sought information, made comments and suggestions about the relevance of the global evidence with the local context. Many constructive ideas and comments were shared in regard to improving the maternal and newborn situation.
The policy seminar was successful in achieving its intended objectives for scaling up of Best Practices in Pakistan. Through this seminar the Country Team was able to obtain a formal commitment of the Minitry of Health and Ministry of Population Welfare for scaling up of the Best Practices in Pakistan. The signing of the Karachi Declaration was no less a great achievement. Through workshops and group work the participants provided the Country Team and policy makers with action steps which could be taken to scale up the Best Practices in Pakistan. Therefore, the seminar was instrumental in sensitizing the policy community on Best Practices and mustering their support and endorsement for scaling up which is expected to go a long way in the efforts focusing the cause of scaling up of Best Practices in Pakistan.
Every Mother Counts
Acknowledging the dire need for improving the health status of mothers and children in Pakistan, Mr. Faisal Karim Kundi, Deputy Speaker National Assembly, pledged full support to women’s health at a function organized by White Ribbon Alliance Pakistan (WRA-P) at Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU). The function tilted Every Mother Counts was part of the International Women Day celebrations being jointed observed by WRA-P and FJWU.
Speaking candidly to a full house of audience Mr. Kundi regretted the fact that despite living in 21st century, Pakistan still had to mourn the deaths of mothers and children who could be saved with little attention and some investment in their health and wellbeing.
He termed the annual loss of over 20 thousand mothers due to pregnancy related causes as totally unacceptable and observed that no nation could let a mother die just because she tries to bring another life in this world. He lauded the partnership between WRA-P and FJWU urging other stakeholders to join hands for a cause that needed concerted efforts. “I really appreciated the leadership of FJWU for thinking out of the box and making a partnership with a civil society organization dedicated to the cause of saving mothers in Pakistan.”
Every Mother Counts also featured a painting competition on maternal health as well in which students from various universities and colleges participated. The winning painting received a cash prize of Rs. 20,000 while the runner up got Rs. 10,000 from WRA. Famous TV star and a well know artist Mr. Jamal Shah, who served on the judges panel, announced the results and distributed the prizes.