Mary Macleod Visits Liberia
Brentford and Isleworth MP sees work of Save the Children
Mary Macleod MP has carried out a tour of Liberia to see Save the Children’s programmes focusing on newborn health and women and girls. The Brentford and Isleworth MP made the trip to Africa from the 1st - 5th February.
Despite a period of relative stability over recent years since the end of the civil war in 2003, Liberia is still one of the poorest countries in the world and child mortality remains especially high, with a third of deaths occurring in the first month of life.
Mary visited a Department for International Development (DfID) funded home for expectant mothers and several clinics supported by Save the Children, including the Build it for Babies clinic in White Plains which is sponsored by UK donors. Mary heard from mothers who praised the clinics and the midwives without which their children would not have survived.
Mary also visited young girls at a local government drop in centre. The centre is one of many established by Save the Children which gives the girls, who have been forced into work or motherhood rather than attending school, the opportunity to learn basic literacy and numeracy including offering family planning guidance.
The final day of the visit included a meeting with Liberia’s Health Minister, Dr Walter Gwenigale, who outlined the country’s challenges when it came to child mortality - such as the lack of infrastructure and trained health workers. Mary and Dr Gwenigale also discussed the importance of family planning, with so many girls in Liberia having children at a young age.
Mary said: “It was a wonderful experience to meet the hardworking midwives and community health leaders here in Liberia doing everything they can to ensure that no child dies from preventable causes.”
“Save the Children provide essential support for mothers and babies who previously did not have access to medical resources in their community. More so, it is encouraging to see the excellent work they are doing to educate young women so that they are aware of the dangers of giving birth at such a young age.”
Following her visit, Mary will update the Secretary of State for International Development, the Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, on Save the Children’s work in Liberia and will discuss how the UK can lead the international debate on reducing child mortality across the globe.
February 14, 2014