Friends of White Ribbon Alliance being launched tomorrow


ISLAMABAD: The Friends of White Ribbon Alliance (FWRA) for South Asia campaign will be launched in Pakistan on Friday (tomorrow). The unique partnership between FWRA and the Pakistani government is aimed at promoting maternal health care in Pakistan where 40 mothers die each day in childbirth complications, says a press release. 
Minister of State for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar will be the chief guest at the launch event while former minister Shanaz Wazir Ali is patron of the FWRA.
Canadian High Commissioner Greg Giokas will host the FWRA South Asia.
The launch aims to raise awareness about maternal and neonatal mortality, to call on the government, members of civil society, multilateral and diplomatic missions to advocate for women’s health in order to reduce their mortality rate during childbirth.
With its global headquarters in Washington, Dr Ghazna Siddiqui leads on the initiative in South Asia. She emphasised the need for Pakistan to elevate the status of women through education, health and empowerment. 
“Women do not die of diseases that we are unable to treat, they die because society has yet to discover their lives are worth saving,” Dr Ghazna quoted Mahummed Fathulla, former president of the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists, as having said. 
The White Ribbon Alliance is a global group of health care workers advocating for maternal health and rights of women. Their work focuses on Communication for Behavioural Change and supporting maternal health care projects at the grass roots. 
The FWRA aims to form partnerships with local NGOs to implement programs and train health care workers, midwives and doctors to promote health care in Pakistan.
The FWRA aims to work with the government to support grass root projects, which include: Sarhard Rural Support Foundation, Real Medicine Foundation and Sahil. 
The launch in Islamabad coincides with the Muskoko initiative in Canada led by Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper. The Muskoko initiative includes prenatal care, health education and attended childcare birth.

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