UCL News


Professor Sir Michael Marmot supports maternal health charity

5 March 2008


St John's Smith Square ucl.ac.uk/epidemiology/" target="_self">UCL Epidemiology & Public Health
  • UCL Centre for International Health & Development
  • UCL Global Health
  • Maternity Worldwide
  • Professor Sir Michael Marmot (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) made a guest appearance on Monday night at a concert in aid of Maternity Worldwide, a charity that aims to provide professional medical support to mothers in the developing world.

    Speaking before the second half of the concert, held at St John's, Smith Square, Professor Marmot illustrated the scale of inequality between maternal health in the west and in the developing world by inviting the audience to look along their row of seats: "Look along the row and imagine that there were 47,600 women sitting in it - the row would stretch approximately from here to Heathrow. In this country, one of those women would die in her lifetime from causes related to maternity. Now imagine that we are in Afghanistan. In one row with 24 women, three women would die in their lifetime of causes related to maternity."

    The stark comparison, he continued, demonstrates the need for work to provide healthcare to mothers in poor countries: "In the UK 99 per cent of births have skilled birth attendants. In Ethiopia only 8 per cent do."

    The concert featured impressive performances from the Ealing Symphony Orchestra, with conductor John Gibbons and pianist Katya Apekisheva, and chamber music from the Le Page Duo and the Wayfarer Octet.

    Maternal health is an important part of UCL's ongoing focus on global health. Researchers led by Professor Anthony Costello, at the UCL Centre for International Health & Development, have developed women's groups in Nepal, Malawi and other developing countries, aimed at disseminating information on pregnancy and childbirth and helping women to access professional healthcare during pregnancy.

    For more information on UCL's holistic approach to global health, and on the efforts of Maternity Worldwide, follow the links at the top of this item.