SAVE THE MOTHERS FOUNDER RETURNS TO CANADA AS RECORD NUMBER OF COMMUNITIES PREPARE TO TAKE STEPS TO DELIVER CHANGE

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HAMILTON, Ontario — (CANADIAN CHRISTIAN NEWS SERVICE) — After 12 years of living and working in Uganda, providing oversight to Save the Mothers (STM), an organization she founded, Dr. Jean Chamberlain Froese will move back to her Canadian home this week.

Her return comes just in time for the maternal health charity’s annual fundraising walk, Steps to Deliver Change, which will be held on Mother’s Day weekend and throughout the month of May.

Since 2005, obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Jean (as she is known internationally) has devoted her life to advocating for some of the poorest, most vulnerable girls and women on the planet. In 2015, she was appointed to the Order of Canada for her work. As she returns to re-establish her Canadian practice and carry on with her role as co-director of the International Women’s Health program at McMaster University, she will hold the position of Executive Director of Save the Mothers (in Canada and in the U.S.A.) until the end of the year. Then, she will continue to be an active contributor, speaking up for the hundreds of thousands of girls and women around the globe who continue to die each year of causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, with periodic trips to East Africa to encourage the work and leadership there.

Ugandan Dr. Miriam Mutabazi, East African Director for Save the Mothers, takes up where Dr. Jean leaves off.  “I’ve always believed in the principle of local leadership being the best possible leadership,” says Dr. Chamberlain Froese, “and knew that one day, I would hand off my role as overseer of the Save the Mothers program to capable, local hands.”

“Hers will be a happy homecoming,” says STM Managing Director, Dr. Daniel Scott. “When Save the Mothers was first established, maternal mortality was a term seldom heard here in Canada. But 7,000 women were dying pregnancy-related deaths each year in Uganda alone, an East African country with a population about the same as Canada’s. Today, the number is fewer than 6,000 deaths each year.”

Uganda’s official maternal mortality ratio (MMR) recorded by the United Nations in 2005 was 504 deaths per 100,000 live births. Today, the number stands at 336 deaths per 100,000 live births.

The statistics speak of remarkable progress. And the story of how Ugandans are on their way to achieving an even lower MMR, is a remarkable story-one in which a Canadian doctor has led the way in equipping Ugandans to bring about change in their own country, and countless Canadian citizens have supported that work with their time and finances.

That support will also continue, as evidenced by the record number of communities participating in taking Steps to Deliver Change this year. The communities are:
  • Bedford, TX
  • Bozeman, MT
  • Bradford, ON
  • Calgary, AB
  • Cardiff, WALES
  • Dundas, ON
  • Kleinburg, ON
  • London, ON
  • Mississauga, ON
  • Montreal, QC
  • Newmarket, ON
  • North Toronto, ON
  • North Toronto Christian School
  • Santa Barbara, CA
  • St. Jacobs, ON
  • St. John’s, NL
  • Stratford, ON
  • Upper Stoney Creek, ON
  • Metro Vancouver, BC
  • Mukono, Uganda
  • netWALK (a “virtual” Walk option that allows people to register and walk    individually rather than as part of a community Walk)

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For interviews with Dr. Chamberlain Froese, or for dates, times and locations of community fundraising walks, contact:
Patricia Paddey
Communications Director
Save the Mothers
Cell) 905-616-1326