Ophelia Dahl visits with young women receiving care at a PIH-supported clinic in Malawi.

"For as long as I can remember, I have been aware that pregnancy and childbirth can be dangerous," writes PIH co-founder Ophelia Dahl, in a commentary published by GlobalPost on Mother's Day, May 13. "My mother, Patricia Neal, was five months pregnant with my sister Lucy when she suffered a massive stroke in February 1965. She and my sister didn’t die — and I wasn’t left motherless at the age of one — because she was in a place where she could receive the best that medical science had to offer: Los Angeles."

"But that is hardly the case on the other side of the economic and geographical great divide where I have been working for the past 25 years as a co-founder of Partners In Health," continues Dahl. "In poor countries like Haiti, Lesotho and Malawi, women routinely and obscenely die because they do not have access to basic healthcare services that we in the United States take for granted — family planning, pre- and post-natal care, delivery assisted by a doctor or midwife, and access to C-sections or blood transfusions in an emergency."

Read "Mothers' health worth the investment" in its entirety.