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Safe Mothers, Safe Newborns – an Isuroon Event Thursday, November 12, 2015, University of Minnesota

October 1, 2015

Julie Barton writes:

Isuroon’s inaugural “Safe Mothers, Safe Newborns” conference will bring together highly influential women and men from the Twin Cities, Somalia and other countries worldwide. Included in the speakers is Jaha Dukureh, the #EndFGM advocate.  Together, we will address the pivotal need to improve Somali maternal and child health care, and acknowledge Isuroon’s critical work optimizing the health and resilience of Somali women and their newborn children.

Safe Mothers, Safe Newborns, an Isuroon Event, will be held on Thursday, November 12, 2015  9:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, 301-19th Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Why is Isuroon hosting this global maternal and child health conference?

According to UNICEF, Somalia has one of the world’s highest maternal mortality rates, with one out of every 12 women dying from pregnancy-related causes. This high maternal death rate compares to only one in 2,100 Caucasian women dying in childbirth in the United States. Somalia also has an extremely high infant mortality rate, with one out of 10 children dying before their first birthday.  Causes of these high mortality rates include lack of publicly run maternal health clinics, inability to provide culturally sensitive health care, women’s inequality, child marriage and adolescent pregnancy, and high Somali birth rates. The continuing displacement caused by a generation war and armed conflict, where one in five women are pregnant and in urgent need for reproductive health care services, drives the risk of dying from pregnancy-related causes even higher.

Our distinguished panel of international speakers includes:

  • Eric Schwartz, Dean, Humphrey School of Public Affairs (Keynote speaker)
  • Achu Lordfred, Chief Technical Advisor, UNFPA Somalia
  • Senator Sandra Pappas, President of the Minnesota Senate
  • The Honorable Keith Ellison, M.C.
  • Kola Okuyemi, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota
  • Tawara Goode, Director, National Center for Cultural Competence, Georgetown University
  • Jaha Dukureh, founder of “Safe Hands for Girls”, anti-Female Genital Mutilation advocate
  • Curt Goering, Executive Director, Center for Victims of Torture
  • Abdirizak Farah – Senior Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Additional information and booking details can be found at

We cordially invite you to learn about innovative solutions to the health challenges confronting women and their children globally:

  • Navigating the Somalia refugee and immigrant crisis in East Africa and beyond
  • Managing the impact of war on the health and safety of women and children
  • Reducing maternal and infant mortality in Somalia and in the United States
  • Defining and implementing culturally competent service delivery
  • Handling extremism and youth recruitment
  • Preventing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the United States and Africa
  • Sharing research on cervical cancer disparities versus Caucasian women
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