Every Mother Counts (EMC) is an implementing non-government organization. The organization is an advocacy and mobilization campaign to increase education and support for maternal mortality reduction globally.
Every Mother Counts seeks to engage new audiences to better understand the challenges and the solutions while encouraging them to take action to improve the lives of girls and women worldwide.
Every Mother Counts was founded by Christy Turlington Burns in 2010 after the completion of her documentary debut, "No Woman, No Cry" which tells the personal stories of pregnant women and their caregivers in four countries as they try to avoid adding to these troubling statistics.
Christy Turlington Burns' Story:
Christy Turlington Burns is a mother, advocate, social entrepreneur, and founder & CEO of the maternal health organization, Every Mother Counts. Having endured a childbirth complication herself, Christy was compelled to direct and produce the documentary, No Woman, No Cry about maternal health challenges that impact the lives of millions of girls and women around the world. Every Mother Counts was launched in 2010 to heighten awareness about their global maternal health crisis. While advocacy remains a key focus, Every Mother Counts has evolved into a 501(c)(3) investing in programs around the world to ensure all women have access to quality maternal healthcare. Christy has been recognized as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People (2014) and one of Glamour Magazine's Women of the Year (2013). In March 2016, Every Mother Counts was recognized as one of Fast Company magazine’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Not-For-Profit (2016). Prior to her work as a global maternal health advocate, Christy enjoyed a successful career as a model while continuing her education and pursuing other interests. Christy has held positions on the Harvard Medical School Global Health Council, the Harvard School of Public Health Board of Dean’s Advisors and on the advisory Board of New York University's Nursing School. She holds a BA from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Studies and has studied Public Health at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. A six-time marathon finisher, Christy resides in New York City where she lives with her husband, filmmaker Edward Burns, and their two children.
The Organization's Progress
Midwives for Haiti
Every Mother Counts and Midwives for Haiti are teaming up to increase the number of midwives available in order to assist pregnant women in Haiti. Midwives for Haiti teaches Haitian women the midwifery skills that turn them into skilled birth attendants. Because of a lack of skilled care, Haitian women die in childbirth at alarming rates. By training Haitian women to provide skilled birth assistance to women in their own communities, Midwives for Haiti is saving a mothers’ life, expanding women’s job skills and economic development and empowering women to improve the health of their communities. That’s why Every Mother Counts is providing a grant of $54,000 to Midwives for Haiti to train 15 midwives beginning in January 2013.
In 2011 the organization launched an effort to collect used cell phones for Hope Phones, one of the organization’s key partner organizations. Hope Phones recycles used cell phones and then uses the proceeds to purchase phones on the local market for health care workers to better connect with their patients. They have collected a total of 12,000 phones for the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2011. Through a partnership with The George Washington University They collected 2,000 phones. They also kicked off a phone drive with the ONE campaign and collected 1,238 phones for Kenya in 2012.
Riders for Health
Last year the organization also kicked off a campaign to raise resources for Riders for Health, an organization committed to helping overcome the barrier of transport in developing countries. They raised a total of $3500 for Riders for Health in Kenya. This may not sound like a lot of money but a local community health care organization (Vumilia) that works with Riders for Health has used this support to keep two motorcycles on the road for a year. Kenya is a large country with a lot of rural areas that are sparsely populated and hard to reach. Before Vumilia started working with Riders, they were visiting 150 households a month. They are now reaching over 500 households a month with regular support and care. Health workers from Vumilia are now able to spend four days each week doing their outreach work, compared to just one day before mobilization. These health workers can now visit five times more villages and see five times the number of people each week.
Doc to Dock
Doc to Dock works to collect medical equipment and supplies that can be reused in developing countries. They match the supplies with clinics in need so that they only send what can truly be used. Then the only thing necessary is funding to ship these supplies to those locations. They relaunched the campaign around the independence of South Sudan and in total generated $12,000 for the effort. While this fell short of their total goal of $18,000, They entered in tor a partnership through Doc to Dock on a broader effort that is underway with South Sudan so that the shipment will in fact be sent shortly.
Save the Children
They partnered with Save the Children last year to raise resources to train midwives in Afghanistan, one of the hardest hit countries in terms of maternal health. More than $16,000 was raised through this partnership which in turns will result in eight new midwives in the country.
The organization also worked with CARE to mobilize resources to support their maternal health work in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They raised approximately $5000 which was combined with funding from another organization to purchase necessary supplies and equipment for four health facilities (1 hospital and 3 health centers) to provide emergency obstetric care in a very remote area of DRC, specifically Kasongo Health Zone in Maniema Province. This photo shows a delivery bed purchased as well as the outside of the maternity constructed in collaboration with the community (these photos all come from Maringa Health Center in Kasongo).