With the recent loss of Nelson Mandela, South African found its voice - and during the memorial service, its silence - in Desmond Tutu. He was Mandela's ally through so many decades of struggle. He remains a hugely respected scourge of the world's wrongs, and irrepressible champion of the oppressed.
Five years' on, maternal health is a UK Government priority, has massive investment, and we are seeing a huge reduction in the number of women and children dying in childbirth globally. Choose the right issue at the right time, and a Parliamentary inquiry really can change the debate - and more importantly, change lives.
When a mother-to-be presents to a maternity ward preparing for the birth of her child, she is admitted to the care of healthcare professionals and should be able to feel confident in their support. By reflecting on those occasions when services have failed, we can devise actionable improvements to better outcomes for patients and staff, and ensure our hospitals are safe.
People around the world know that education is the key to a better life. Voters from over 190 countries who responded to the United Nations My World survey said providing a good education for all was the best way to build a better world. There's a huge gap between that goal and reality, however: 250million children are still being denied a chance to learn the basics.
This week marks 100 days since the report of the high level panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. As eminent persons and development academics once again turn their thoughts to what will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), it's worth remembering what these debates really mean for mothers and babies in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The birth of the Royal baby, Prince George of Cambridge, was a time to celebrate for most of the British public. Unmarred by worries of a traumatic birth in volatile conditions in a country where we are lucky enough to have free access to healthcare. But others are not so lucky. Every day, around 1,000 women die in childbirth or from a pregnancy-related complication.
Off my face on painkillers and hormones after an emergency c. section and haemorrhage, I was repeatedly pressured by a sales rep to buy baby photographs. She kept returning to see if I'd 'made a decision'; I could barely decide which way up my baby was supposed to be. Of course this should be banned. It's borderline barbarism and places commercial factors above maternal wellbeing.
Exhausted, time-poor new mothers relish the beautifully packaged bundles of nutritious goodness carefully crafted by clinical experts, together with advice from their Chinese Physician at Thomson Chinese Medicine. The 28-day menu is catered to mothers who have more discerning palates, whilst maintaining the nutritional aspects of the herbs used in preparing the meals.
So why such vociferous reactions to the call for data to be disaggregated by ethnicity? Partly this reflects the practical difficulties in collecting and analysing data at a sub-national level in parts of the world where it is challenging enough to undertake surveys that simply capture national averages.
Our Olympic and Paralympic heroes deserved every bit of the great parade we saw last week. But why didn't this celebration happen again yesterday? That's when the UN announced that the number of children dying each year under the age of five has fallen by 41% since 1990. While 12 million died in 1990, just under seven million lives were lost in 2011. That's 14,000 a day less than were dying in 1990. The progress made in reducing child deaths must be one of the biggest success stories of the last decade. Yet there was no tickertape parade.
I am witnessing a monthly meeting by the Chandrajarkie village women's group, which is organised and monitored by the village women. I'm here because I want to understand how the group has achieved a public health and social breakthrough: a massive reduction in neonatal mortality, and a huge step forward in the self-confidence of women.