HAMILTON, Ontario — (CANADIAN CHRISTIAN NEWS SERVICE) — Just in time for Mother’s Day, Save the Mothers is releasing an eye-opening yet hopeful new book, The Game Changers: True Stories About Saving Mothers & Babies in East Africa. Co-authored by respected Canadian physician Dr. Jean Chamberlain Froese and Patricia Paddey, the book provides a glimpse of the transformation taking place in the lives of individuals and communities across East Africa, as a result of Save the Mothers’ innovative initiatives.
Save the Mothers is an international organization that equips local professionals in developing countries to improve the survival rate of women and newborns — an appalling number of whom continue to die in 2016 due to preventable complications during labour and delivery. Through their diverse vocations, ranging from journalists to politicians to religious leaders, graduates of Save the Mothers’ Master of Public Health Leadership program become influencers for positive societal change, working from the grassroots to change entrenched attitudes and systems.
While advances in medical science in affluent countries mean that few women die during childbirth, having a baby is one of the riskiest things many women in sub-Saharan Africa will ever do. In Uganda, for example, women and babies die in staggering numbers. Some 6,000 Ugandan women lose their lives to complications of pregnancy and childbirth every year. (That is more than 200 times the number of women who die from the same sorts of medical issues in Canada-a country with roughly the same size population.)
“The Game Changers tells Save the Mothers’ story,” says Dr. Jean Chamberlain Froese, founder and executive director of this groundbreaking humanitarian organization. “It tells my personal story. And it tells the stories of East African leaders, and the critical differences they are making in saving the lives of women and babies in a part of the world where the entire game desperately needs changing.”
The Game Changers features moving personal experience stories, startling facts from on-the-ground reporting, dozens of full-colour photographs, and practical tips for how readers can help to bring an end to this little-known human rights catastrophe. It is the long-awaited follow-up to Dr. Jean’s earlier book, Where Have All the Mothers Gone? (2003).
Chamberlain Froese is an obstetrician/gynecologist and internationally recognized expert in women’s reproductive health. Her pioneering work has been honoured with a number of humanitarian awards, including a recent appointment to the Order of Canada. She divides her time between East Africa and teaching and working clinically in Canada while associate professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.