Kybele board member David Goodman, MD, OB/GYN at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies in Orlando, FL and Director of Global Health Scholars Program, recently shared this reflection on COVID-19 and infant mortality.

“There is an ambient anxiety that COVID-19 has brought into our society. I was processing my fears recently while driving home after giving a global health lecture and the reality dawned on me: 'This is a taste of the fear that families all over the world feel all the time.'
Globally, the stillbirth rate is 18.4 per 1000 births. The 10 countries with the most dire rates experience stillbirths in the range of 32-43 per 1,000 births. (1)  Simply trying to be born carries a global fatality rate around 2%, which is roughly the same as COVID-19. Let that sink in.
Every day 830 women and 7,300 newborns die. In addition, over 7,000 women experience stillbirths, half of which occur after labor has begun. (2)  The pandemonium this virus has created, the calls to action, the mobilizing of funds are necessary and important, but it leaves us asking, 'When will societies consider women, babies, and families as this important?'"

Certainly we do not downplay the impact of COVID-19. In fact we continue to work diligently to minimize that impact, to support our hospital partners and reduce the spread.
But David offers great perspective. The Coronavirus pandemic has upended the entire globe. While many things may never be as they were, compassion and care for others remains intact . In these hard and frightful days, let us not forget the perpetual threat to women and babies that extends beyond COVID-19. As you reflect on your own experience whether it is caring for patients, recovering from the virus, or sheltering in place it is our hope this will help you build solidarity for the burdens borne all over the world.
1. Lawn JE, Blencowe H, Waiswa P, Amouzou A, Mathers C, Hogan D, et al. Stillbirths: rates, risk factors, and acceleration towards 2030. Lancet. 2016 Jan 18;
Painting depicting a mother with her infant toiling in the fields.
Artwork courtesy of Museo de Historial Regional (Regional History Museum)
in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. Photo credit: Medge Owen
Childbirth doesn't stop for COVID-19.
Babies are still born every day around the world.

The work of Kybele continues despite these new challenges as we persist in supporting, communicating with and advising our program country partners. Please consider a financial gift to Kybele in honor of Mother's Day to help us continue our vital work amid this crisis. Any amount is needed and greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
David Goodman, M.D., MPH, FACOG, is an obstetric and gynecologic hospitalist at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies in Orlando, FL, where he directs the Global Health Scholars Program. Prior to moving to Orlando in 2017, he completed a global health fellowship with the Hubert-Yeargan Center for Global Health at Duke University. He served at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center in Moshi, Tanzania, as an attending physician and conducted research related to low-resource fetal monitoring that was funded by the Fulbright Scholar Program and Fogarty Global Health Fellowship. David has been involved with Kybele since 2014, when he traveled to Ghana as a resident. David has co-authored several manuscripts for Kybele and continues to be active with project planning, data analysis, and manuscript writing.
Kybele Board of Directors
Fiona Bryce
Curtis Baysinger
Lisa Corbett
Stan Dean
Lawrence Fordjour
David Goodman
Shahla Namak
Melvin Seid
Ann Smith
Kybele Staff
Medge Owen , Founder & Executive Director
Sebnem Ucer , Accounts Manager
Erin Pfeiffer, Grants Manager & Program Coordinator
Sharon Nelson , Strategic Communications Manager
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