Join Us for the Launch of H.E.A.T. on Maternal Mortality
Doctors of the World is pleased to announce the launch of a special election-year voter education and advocacy initiative, the Health Education Action Team (H.E.A.T.) on Maternal Mortality. With this campaign we are drawing attention to this alarming public health crisis, specifically the deep racial disparities that exist between Black and white maternal mortality in the United States, centering it as an important issue that must be addressed by those seeking public office in November.
Black mothers in the US are 3-4 times more likely, and Native American/Indigenous mothers are as much as two times more likely than white women to die during pregnancy, while giving birth, or after birth. And this is true regardless of socio-economic status.
These levels of maternal mortality are more commonly seen in many of the lower income countries where Doctors of the World typically works, but here in the US, the wealthiest nation on earth, this inequality is unacceptable.
While maternal mortality around the world has continued to trend downward, the numbers in the United States have continued to increase, particularly for Black and Indigenous women. This exposes a larger problem of structural racism within our country, both in the healthcare system and in access to care, as well as in education, housing, and economic opportunity, and requires that our elected officials take action.
We believe that decisive action is needed to reverse the trend.. DotW’s H.E.A.T. initiative is designed to educate voters about the positions of their candidates for public office on the issue, and apply pressure on them by demanding that they go on record adopting a set of sensible and established policy reforms.
This is a complex problem that requires multiple long-term solutions on the local, state, and federal levels. However, something we can do immediately and with urgency is to draw attention to the crisis by centering it as an important policy issue in the upcoming election. H.E.A.T on Maternal Mortality will help us do just that.
While all of our stakeholders and supporters (including you!) will be able to participate in this campaign, we will be focusing our efforts on educating candidates and voters in the five states with the worst maternal mortality rates in the US: