World Mom, @JenniferBurden, Writes About post-Ebola Sierra Leone @BabyCenter!

World Mom, @JenniferBurden, Writes About post-Ebola Sierra Leone @BabyCenter!

As part of World Moms Blog’s collaboration with BabyCenter’s Mission Motherhood™, our World Moms are writing posts on maternal health around the world. In today’s post, Jennifer Burden writes about

“A friend at the nonprofit, WaterAid, recently shared photographs with me from the photographer Monique Jacques, which were taken during a trip this year to Kenema, Sierra Leone. Kenema was among the hardest-hit areas during the Ebola crisis, and research conducted by WaterAid and the nonprofit VSO found an alarming rise in the rate of maternal and newborn death during the Ebola crisis.”

Read the full post, “A window into a maternity ward in post-Ebola Sierra-Leone”, over at BabyCenter’s Mission Motherhood™!

Photocredit to Monique Jacques/WaterAID

Jennifer Burden

Jennifer Burden is the Founder and CEO of World Moms Network, an award winning website on global motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. World Moms Network writes from over 30 countries, has over 70 contributors and was listed by Forbes as one of the “Best 100 Websites for Women”, named a “must read” by The New York Times, and was recommended by The Times of India. She was also invited to Uganda to view UNICEF’s family health programs with Shot@Life and was previously named a “Global Influencer Fellow” and “Social Media Fellow” by the UN Foundation. Jennifer was invited to the White House twice, including as a nominated "Changemaker" for the State of the World Women Summit. She also participated in the One Campaign’s first AYA Summit on the topic of women and girl empowerment and organized and spoke on an international panel at the World Bank in Washington, DC on the importance of a universal education for all girls. Her writing has been featured by Baby Center, Huffington Post,, the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life, and The Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists.” She is currently a candidate in Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in the Executive Masters of Public Affairs program, where she hopes to further her study of global policies affecting women and girls. Jennifer can be found on Twitter @JenniferBurden.

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WORLD VOICE: In The Wake of Ebola

WORLD VOICE: In The Wake of Ebola

(Photo: European Commission DG ECHO/Flickr/Creative Commons)

(Photo: European Commission DG ECHO/Flickr/Creative Commons)

The World Health Organization declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa officially over this past week. The Ebola epidemic that swept through Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and into Nigeria last year highlighted the importance of rapid response, and strong health infrastructure. Credited for halting the spread of the virus more widely in Nigeria was the Polio tracking system and stations already put in place by GAVI (Global Vaccine Alliance). Unlike the surrounding countries, Nigeria was able to use that already existing health care network and alert system to quickly track down possible exposures. Also highlighted by the outbreak was the importance of nutrition in preventing disease to begin with. Well-nourished children have much stronger immune systems than malnourished children, and are more resilient to bounce back when they do get sick. Sustainable Development Goal number two is zero hunger, a global priority since WHO estimates that malnutrition is the underlying cause in half of child deaths world wide.

I knew that malnutrition made immune systems vulnerable, but working with a local non-profit specializing in the treatment and prevention of child malnutrition on a global level has given me new insight into just how critical proper nutrition is for the individual, and the world as a whole. You might be surprised to learn that the second largest producer in the world of a nutritionally fortified peanut paste used to treat malnutrition called Plumpy’Nut is located in the smallest state in the USA. Edesia is a non-profit that partners with organizations on the ground such as World Food Program, UNICEF and USAID to offer treatment and malnutrition prevention solutions to those who need it most. Countries such as Sierra Leone and Liberia had been receiving shipments of Edesia’s products long before the Ebola outbreak, where malnutrition was already an issue for many children before the virus hit. In the countries of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone the compounded crisis of child malnutrition was both a contributing factor, and then a cruel aftereffect of the Ebola epidemic.

plumpy copy

Photo Credit: Heidi Reed

Rhode Island infectious disease specialist Dr. Tim Flanigan, who traveled to Liberia in August of 2014 stated that

“More people were dying from malnutrition and other medical illnesses than from Ebola.” even at the height of the outbreak. “ So many infectious diseases are intertwined with malnutrition to begin with.”

The communities impacted the hardest were already fragile when the virus hit.

Dr. Flanigan explained, that the countries impacted by Ebola were some of the poorest countries on the continent. After years of civil wars, the destruction of the infrastructure had already made it a challenge for people to get enough to eat. Hunger, malnutrition, and starvation were already common realities in these vulnerable populations.  All efforts and resources available then went to tackle Ebola when it hit, leaving any of the already challenged social services in place, like school meals or vaccine clinics, to flounder. When 20-day quarantines of people in homes with no running water, or electricity, (meaning no refrigeration for food), were instituted in some households, malnutrition rates were bound to soar.

Children are often the most vulnerable population in crisis scenarios, they are at much higher risk of disease when malnourished, even if they escape succumbing to any number of viral threats malnutrition puts them at risk of never growing to their full potential. The products produced in Rhode Island at Edesia, such as Plumpy’Nut and Plumpy’Sup, can literally save the lives of these children. In just 6 weeks on average a child suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition, or SAM, can get back to their full healthy weight when treated with Plumpy’Nut. Last year Edesia reached nearly a million children.  The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimate is that nearly 795 million people (out of the 7.3 billion world population), so 1 in 9 people, suffered from malnutrition during 2014-2016. The goal at Edesia is to reach as many children as possible to help them thrive, and that means being prepared to react when the need arises. One of the essential building blocks to good health is proper nutrition, and a healthy community is a more resilient community. We saw how effective it was in the case of Nigeria and the Polio network to have systems in place when disaster strikes.  The investment in global nutrition not only can help to prevent future outbreaks of disease, but ensure that all children have the opportunity to grow into healthy, productive adults.

What are some of the other lessons that this outbreak Highlighted?

This is an original post written for World Moms Blog by Elizabeth Atalay who also writes at documama and is the Digital and Social Media Specialist at Edesia.

Elizabeth Atalay

Elizabeth Atalay is a Digital Media Producer, Managing Editor at World Moms Network, and a Social Media Manager. She was a 2015 United Nations Foundation Social Good Fellow, and traveled to Ethiopia as an International Reporting Project New Media Fellow to report on newborn health in 2014. On her personal blog,, she uses digital media as a new medium for her background as a documentarian. After having worked on Feature Films and Television series for FOX, NBC, MGM, Columbia Pictures, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, and Castle Rock Pictures, she studied documentary filmmaking and anthropology earning a Masters degree in Media Studies from The New School in New York. Since becoming a Digital Media Producer she has worked on social media campaigns for non-profits such as Save The Children, WaterAid,, UNICEF, United Nations Foundation, Edesia, World Pulse, American Heart Association, and The Gates Foundation. Her writing has also been featured on, Johnson & Johnson’s,,, and Elizabeth has traveled to 70 countries around the world, most recently to Haiti with Artisan Business Network to visit artisans in partnership with Macy’s Heart of Haiti line, which provides sustainable income to Haitian artisans. Elizabeth lives in New England with her husband and four children.

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SPECIAL REPORT: #WorldMoms at #WorldBank This Week for #SMCSO15

SPECIAL REPORT: #WorldMoms at #WorldBank This Week for #SMCSO15

#WorldMoms at #WorldBank this week for #SMCSO15

NEW FINAL CollageFantastic news! Writers from World Moms Blog will be traveling to the World Bank Spring Meetings (#SM2015) in Washington D.C. this week to help spread the word about the ongoing dialog between citizens from Civil Society Organizations (CSO). World Moms Blog founder, Jennifer Burden, and contributor, Cynthia Changyit Levin, are thrilled to be headed back to the World Bank CSO meetings to represent moms around the globe concerned about the futures of ALL children no matter where they were born.

Civil Society meetings are bi-annual events hosted by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.  Non-government organizations like UNICEFthe ONE CampaignA World at School, and RESULTS send representatives to speak on panels to talk about development policies. Citizens from all over the world can join in and voice their opinions about the best ways to fight extreme poverty and speak out about how World Bank programs affect the lives of people in their countries for better or worse.

We’re honored to be lending our social media skills in a partnership that started at the 2014 RESULTS Conference when we met World Bank President Dr. Jim Kim and continued as we attended and blogged about the 2014 Fall CSO meetings. This spring, we’re returning to help the World Bank to engage in conversation with our audience of concerned moms on topics of importance to us as world citizens: Ebola, Education, Nutrition, and more. We’ll be live-tweeting flagship events and even hosting a panel discussion about social media and citizen activism to move the world toward education for all.

YOU can help take the meetings and the conversation about ending poverty far beyond DC! Please join the conversation by:

  • Following the Twitter hashtag #SMCSO15 and the Twitter accounts of @WorldMomsBlog@JenniferBurden, and @ccylevin so you can join in the conversation and re-tweet posts that you like using the #WorldMoms hashtag.
  • Joining live-streamed webcast events (listed below) and leaving your questions/comments on the webcast page for the moderators! Each event has a hashtag so you can engage with the panel and audience through Twitter.
  • Leaving a question for the World Bank in the comment section of this blog. We’ll try to ask it in the panel discussions and town hall meetings we attend or ask our contacts at the World Bank about it to get a response to you.

Here is the link to the full schedule of live-streamed webcast events. The list below calls out some of our favorites that we are most excited to attend. Pick one or more that interest you and join us virtually. You may even see us in the audience!

Creating Jobs and Improving Services: A New Social Contract in the Arab World

#breakthecycle and #menaeconomy

Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. ET
Join us for a live discussion where panelists will address the need for a new social contract to meet the demands of the current generation of citizens in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Power of Faith to Help End Extreme Poverty


Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m ET.
Location: World Bank Group Headquarters, Preston Auditorium & Online

Can people of faith help build a movement to end extreme poverty? Can they seize this opportunity at a time of conflict in some regions — some of it driven by groups claiming religious justification?

Latin America: In Search of Lost Growth


Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Time: 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET

How can Latin American governments stimulate growth while preserving social achievements? What growth levels will countries of the region achieve in 2015?

2015 Spring Meetings Press Briefing: World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim


Date: Thursday, April 16, 2015
Time: 8:45 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. ET

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim will address the press during the World Bank’s 2015 Spring Meetings.

The Power of Nutrition


Date: Thursday, April 16, 2015
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. ET

Join us for a panel discussion on the importance of investing in nutrition; the challenges countries are facing; and concrete steps towards scaling up high-impact programming for child nutrition.

Future of Food: A Conversation with Jim Yong Kim & David Chang


Date: Thursday, April 16, 2015
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET

Hear from a development banker, a renowned chef, an agricultural expert, a woman farmer, a culinary professional and others about the future of food, and how we can work together to feed the world.

Trust, Voice, and Incentives: Learning from Local Successes in Service Delivery in the Middle East and North Africa


Date: Thursday, April 16, 2015

Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET

Join regional policy makers, practitioners and civil society representatives for a discussion on what it will take to instill adequate accountability and motivation among public servants and service providers toward meeting citizens’ needs.

Water Security for All in a World of Scarcity


Date: Thursday, April 16, 2015
Time: 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET

Water security is emerging as the number one global risk in terms of development impact. An expert panel will share their experiences and solutions for addressing water scarcity challenges with a view of the social, economic, and political implications.

Ebola: The Road to Recovery


Date: Friday, April 17, 2015
Time: 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. ET

WBG President Jim Yong Kim chairs this high-level roundtable at which the heads of state of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will present their Ebola recovery plans to finance and development ministers and international partners.

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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#WorldMoms on @ONECampaign Blog to Support #ENDEbola for #GivingTuesday

#WorldMoms on @ONECampaign Blog to Support #ENDEbola for #GivingTuesday

World Mom, Aisha in Nigeria, gets her temperature taken at a stop while driving her daughter to school in northern Nigeria.

World Mom, Aisha in Nigeria, gets her temperature taken at a stop to check for Ebola while driving her daughter to school in northern Nigeria.

This Giving Tuesday, World Moms Blog contributors from 5 continents are on the ONE Campaign blog speaking out in support to help end Ebola. From Nigeria to Indonesia to Belgium to New Zealand to the USA mothers support donating to help end the Ebola outbreak and provide needed healthcare to those affected.

Check out the full post over at ONE!

Also, the advocacy to #ENDEbola continues on World Moms Blog with the WGirls, an international nonprofit who reach out to the girls and women in their communities in need. In times of global crisis, they also rally to help.  Today, WGirls President, Amy Heller, is on the blog talking about the importance of supporting efforts to end Ebola and her organization’s support of Doctors Without Borders to do just that this #GivingTuesday.

We are grateful to support these partnerships to help support the organizations who need our help to contain Ebola this #GivingTuesday!

Photo credit to Aisha Yesufu.

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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SOCIAL GOOD: On #GivingTuesday Help Doctors Without Borders #ENDEbola with @WGirlsINC

SOCIAL GOOD: On #GivingTuesday Help Doctors Without Borders #ENDEbola with @WGirlsINC

Doctors Without Borders Help End Ebola

World news cycles through our Facebook feeds, blogrolls, and across our Television screens at lightning speed these days. Just four weeks ago most of our nation was riveted by the play by play updates about Ebola, and it was impossible to escape the news. Was Ebola coming to the US? Would there be a domestic outbreak?  Did the CDC make the right calls once it was here?  Were the health workers who contracted the disease while risking their lives treating those struggling going to survive? Should there be a travel ban? Would there be a vaccine?  Ebola was everywhere! Then, even before the last American infected left the hospital a healthy man,  Ebola all but disappeared from the news.

But here is the thing, Ebola itself did not disappear at all. Instead, it continues to threaten the lives of tens of thousands of people in West Africa and has already taken the lives of over 5,000 men, women, and children.  5000.  Think about that number for a second; the reverberating loss that number represents. Thousands of spouses lost the love of their life, thousands of families lost a brother, a sister, a son,  a daughter,  an aunt, an uncle, a friend. Thousands of children lost their mothers or fathers or almost incomprehensibly both of their parents to this disease.

It is not stopping. It is not slowing down. It is only getting worse.

People are dying in the streets while they wait for treatment. There are not enough beds for the sick, supplies for the clinics, or medical professionals on the ground to gain control of the situation. They need our help, and they need it now.

The founding members of  WGIRLS INC, each thankful  for the opportunities their respective upbringings provided, came together to  create a way for women to express that gratitude through service to those less fortunate.  We create and deliver programming and  fundraising initiatives that support access to  safe housing,  creature comforts, medical care, education, and career opportunity for those  less fortunate. While WGIRLS chapters focus primarily upon efforts in their respective local communities, in times of international crisis,  we come together to raise awareness and funding for those in need wherever that need may be.

This holiday season, many of us will gather around tables to give thanks for our blessings, spend time laughing and sharing with friends and family and exchanging gifts with  our loved ones.    At the same time, however, some of our brothers and sisters in West Africa will be desperately seeking medical care to survive. For them there will be no hugs or loved ones surrounding them. There will be no celebrations or laughter, but there is an opportunity for a gift.  The gift of a fighting chance against Ebola.

Doctors without Borders, the premier organization in the fight against the disease is in desperate need of additional funding. As one of the few non-governmental organizations treating Ebola in West Africa their resources have been stretched to the limit attempting to treat the sick and control the disease.

A gift of your support will help provide the funding needed for additional medical personnel, treatments, beds, tents, and medical supplies.

Most importantly, your gift will give hope to the thousands of families impacted by this deadly disease.

Thank you in advance for joining us in the fight!  Happy Holidays to you and yours!

You can DONATE HERE this #GivingTuesday. 

This is an original post written for World Moms Blog by Amy Heller of WGirls in New York, USA.

Photo: Médecins Sans Frontières and American CDC staff preparing to enter an Ebola treatment unit in Liberia via wikipedia

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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