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SWL-MDG5 - Artists Focus on Maternal Challenges - The Times of Malta, Friday, 7th May 2010

Posted Date: 12/05/2010

Friday, 7th May 2010  

Artists focus on maternal challenges

Claudia Calleja

Mothersnight exhibition photo by Zammit Lupi

A group of 30 artists pooled their talents to draw attention to challenges faced by mothers in Malta and around the world.

While poor countries battle with a high number of deaths during childbirth, Malta faces its own challenges that include teenage pregnancy and the rising number of single mothers. These issues are explored through paintings and sculptures, by local and foreign artists, at an exhibition entitled A Tribute To Mothers.

The exhibition was mounted by SOS Malta on the occasion of Mother’s Day on Sunday and as part of a Europe Aid project called Save Women’s Lives. The project aims to raise public awareness on a UN Millennium Development Goal that seeks to improve maternal health.

Anna Borg, who chairs the Malta Confederation of Women’s Organisations, pointed out that childbirth remained the leading cause of death among young women worldwide.

“In poor countries, a woman dies every minute during pregnancy or childbirth... Even when resources are scarce, the great majority of maternal deaths can be prevented through simple cost-effective measures. These include skilled care at birth for all pregnant women by a qualified midwife and emergency obstetric care for women in life-threatening conditions,” she said.

In September 2000, 189 countries, including Malta, endorsed the UN Millennium Development Goals including improving maternal health by reducing maternal mortality by 75 per cent by 2015.

Malta has a low infant mortality rate but there are other maternal-related problems that needed solving.

“The number of teenage pregnancies in Malta is increasing and, this notwithstanding, Parliament has yet to approve the National Sexual Health Policy, which was re-presented in Parliament some months ago, after the first two drafts were discarded,” Ms Borg said.

She pointed out that statistics indicated that the number of single mothers in Malta was on the rise.

“We need to ask what is being done to help Maltese mothers ensure they can continue their education and training. Much more needs to be done in order to give mothers real choices that could lead to their financial independence,” she added.

The exhibition is being held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Pardo Hall in Valletta until next Thursday. It will then be transferred to Opus 64 Galerie in Sliema until May 31.



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