Christy Turlington Burns, Advancing Global Maternal Health

Published on03 MAY 2016

Every year, more than 300,000 women die from maternal-related causes around the world, and 98 percent of those deaths are preventable. Model and social entrepreneur Christy Turlington Burns founded Every Mother Counts to provide scalable, high-impact maternal health solutions for countries around the world. She discusses her modeling career, becoming a mother and the global fight to end maternal mortality.

On the inspiration behind founding Every Mother Counts: "When I delivered my daughter Grace in 2003, complications arose that I wasn’t at all prepared for. It was really the weeks after coming home that I learned about maternal mortality and the global tragedy. At that time, over half a million women were dying every year. I was shocked that this was happening in the 21st century…I had to do more."

On the rising maternal mortality rate in the US: "The US has to be part of the conversation…we are ranked very poorly [in maternal mortality] around the world. We were ranked 41st when I first became aware of this issue, and we’re ranked 60th currently. We've gone backwards."

On identifying what works: "There is no silver bullet for maternal health. Reminding people what is possible, what we do know, and what can be scaled, as opposed to overwhelming [people] with how many things still need to be addressed, will truly make a lasting difference."

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