ICM Vice President Frances Day-Stirk represented the ICM at a high-profile event on the day following the International Day of the Midwife, when parliamentarians, celebrities and key players in world maternal health came together at the UK's House of Commons.

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ICM Vice President Frances Day-Stirk represented the ICM at a high-profile event on the day following the International Day of the Midwife, when parliamentarians, celebrities and key players in worldwide maternal health came together at the UK's House of Commons.

The occasion was the launch of a report bleakly titled 'Better Off Dead?' describing the severe toll of maternal morbidity across the world.

Christine McCafferty, MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Population, Development and Reproductive Health (APPG) carried out the launch of the APPG Hearing Report on Maternal Morbidity in collaboration with the White Ribbon Alliance (WRA), IPPF and Marie Stopes International, at the same time celebrating International Day of the Midwife on Wednesday 6 May 2009.

Guests of honour included Sarah Brown, wife of the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Patron of the WRA and Geri Halliwell, UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador.

The report gave facts and figures on women's illnesses and injuries related to pregnancy and childbirth. These leave 10-20 million women and girls every year with long-term physical, psychological, social and economic problems. Many women are abandoned, ostracised and alone.

The complications include...

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