Nurse Ellmers Goes to Guatemala

whitectWhat the world needs is more nurses in power.  THAT appears to be the thesis of an op-ed written by Reps. Renee Ellmers(R-NC) and Diane Black (R-TN) about their recent congressional junket to Guatemala: 

”[…] We met Manuala last month when we traveled to Guatemala to learn how the U.S. government and nonprofit organizations like CARE are expanding access to health services and education in order to reduce high maternal mortality rates. Maternal mortality is a global problem: more than 800 women die from child birth every day.

Our visit to speak to healthcare volunteers like Manuala and a group of expecting mothers hit close to home. Long before we became elected Representatives, we dedicated our lives to building healthy communities. As nurses, we know firsthand the challenges around tending to the wounded, caring for the sick, and helping patients recover so they can live longer, happier lives. {…]

* Those, of course, are exactly the kind of skills we’re seeking in our government leaders.*  MORE: 

We’re often asked why it is so important to devote time and attention to health programs in countries so far away. As two nurses with experience in the health realm, we can confidently state that it’s because we know what works. Proven interventions such as educating mothers on the importance of proper nutrition and timing and spacing of pregnancies can make a difference. Our time in Guatemala showed us that many of these interventions are both simple and inexpensive. Further, by equipmouthping these communities with the tools they need to sustain themselves, we can actually reduce our long-term foreign aid costs and create an environment where mothers and fathers want to build a life for their families.

By investing in women like Manuala we are helping women build stronger families and lifting communities out of extreme poverty. As we continue the fight to end maternal mortality, we can look to leaders like Manuala to take charge in their own communities. Her role as a health volunteer caring for the poorest of the poor is not easy, but she does it with determination and pride. To us, she is a hero. With powerful leaders like Manuala and smart, targeted U.S. investments in maternal and child health, we are confident that a world where all mothers can deliver their baby safely is well within reach. […]