My personal reasons for backing the EVERY ONE campaign
Save the Children’s campaign for Child Survival, EVERY ONE, is rooted in decades of organizational experience and in very detailed analysis. The case the campaign makes – that most child deaths are preventable, if only we can mobilize the will and the political commitment to prevent them – is argued with a great weight of evidence in the powerful new report, The Next Revolution. But my reasons for being so energized about the campaign are also very personal.
My wife is from India, and during her first pregnancy we were living in Hyderabad in India’s South. The pregnancy all seemed to be going fine and the day of the delivery started off well. But then the beeps from the sensor attached to her belly started to slow down. Foetal distress: Our baby was losing blood.
The doctor pulled me aside. “I’m sorry, this is not going to be a normal delivery. You’ll have to leave the room.” And so I waited, distressed and distraught, for news. Two hours later I was called in. “Come.” “What? What happened.” “You can see your baby here.” So I went to the room, and saw the baby on a table. I burst into tears.
Then the doctor asked “but I thought you would be happy you had a boy!” Our baby had made it. But I knew from the statistics that in the same city at about the same time another baby would have died, and the reason was that we were able to pay for an attended delivery, and many other parents in India could not.
Ever since then I have felt that I owed it to those children who hadn’t had our good fortune to do whatever I could to help change a situation where one baby could live and another could die because one had parents who could afford healthcare and the other had parents who could not.
So since I joined Save the Children in January this year it has been a real joy to be able to be part of organizing the campaign.