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RCOG release: Flight for Every Mother official launch will highlight maternal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa

News 4 February 2013

A project to highlight maternal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa will be officially launched today at the RCOG. Flight for Every Mother is a journey being undertaken by Dr Sophia Webster to promote safer pregnancy for women.

Sophia’s route will take her from South Africa up the East coast of Africa to Tanzania and Kenya, across Sudan and Chad to Nigeria and then onto the West coast through Sierra Leone and Morocco to Europe, over a 10 week period, leaving in July. During the journey, she will make regular stops to visit local medical and midwifery facilities where she will facilitate discussion and teaching sessions to highlight the factors that contribute to preventable deaths among previously healthy women because of pregnancy.

Many of the countries she will visit are the furthest from reaching the target of the Millennium Development Goal 5 on reducing maternal mortality by three-quarters by 2015.

The project will raise money for a number of charities which are all working in maternal health. These charities are the RCOG Smile Appeal, Transaid, AMREF, Mothers2mothers, Life For African Mothers, the Girl Child Education Fund and 28 Too Many.

The launch event will provide an opportunity to meet Sophia and find out about Flight for Every Mother in more detail. She will present the background behind her idea, the details of her route, her plans for activities in each of the countries, and there will also be an opportunity to hear from the charities involved about their work.

Looking ahead to her journey, Sophia says:

“Internationally, too many women die, or become seriously ill, whilst pregnant and during childbirth. In 2010, there were an estimated 287,000 deaths worldwide. 99% of these were in developing countries and over half in sub-¬‐Saharan Africa alone. Many countries in sub-¬Saharan Africa have a long way to go to be on course to achieve the targets set out by Millennium Development Goal 5. All women should have the opportunity to have a child in a safe manner, and I am making this journey to show the world the reasons why this is so difficult for so many.

“I am delighted that we have several charities on board each focusing on a different aspect of the maternal health equation.”

The official launch of Flight For Every Mother will be held at 9am today at the RCOG in London. Sophia Webster is sponsored by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG). More information can be found at


For further information, please contact the RCOG Media and PR team on +44 20 7772 6300 or email