HELSINKI — 'PUSH! for change'is the message of a unique internet-based advocacy campaign on maternal health launched at the Finnish Parliament in Helsinki this week.
The 'PUSH! for change' campaign is a joint UNFPA and Family Federation of Finland (FFF) initiative to raise awareness in Finland about maternal health in developing countries. It also encourages people to take action and push for more awareness, political backing and investment needed to improve maternal health.
Speaking at the launch seminar Tuesday, Dr. Hedia Belhadj, Deputy Director, and Acting Chief of Reproductive Health Branch of UNFPA, said investing in women is the most productive strategy a country can pursue in the fight against poverty: “Study after study has taught us that there is no tool for development more effective, no policy more likely to raise economic productivity, improve nutrition and promote health, or increase the chances of education for the next generation,” she said. She thanked FFF for their strong partnership with UNFPA and the Finnish Government for their hospitality.
The Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs also announced their intention to support the UNFPA Maternal Health Trust Fund with Euro 500,000.
Dr. Hedia Belhadj (second from the right)
PUSH! an innovative internet-based campaign is designed around an interactive web site where visitors can support the campaign and engage in its materials. The campaign will also build on the multiplier effects of email and online social networks – including - the hugely popular Facebook and YouTube - to spread the message that no woman should die giving life.
The campaign will continue until October when the “PUSH! Appeal” signatures will be handed over to Paavo Värynen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development.
Campaign champions include Finnish actress and musician Irina Bjorklund, who will dedicate her summer tour to the campaign, as well as UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador, Mikko Kuustonen.