Letters: US aid can save lives of women, babies

This piece originally appeared in The State.

COLUMBIA, SC — As a nursing student and hospital volunteer, I routinely see the glowing faces of brand-new mothers as they watch their newborns sleep soundly in the bassinet beside their beds. It is both wonderful and a tragic reminder of the 800 women around the world who die every day due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth.

Another 5.9 million children under age 5 — 16,000 every day — die every year from preventable causes such as pneumonia, dehydration and diarrhea.

With U.S. leadership, the world has seen more than a 50 percent drop in the number of children and moms who have died from preventable causes. But we can do more.

I urge Sen. Lindsey Graham to invest additional money in maternal and child health and nutrition programs. Every child deserves the best chance at life.