Motherhood photo exhibit by Bru Rovira opens at PAHO on International Women's Day

4 Mar 2011
pregnant mother graphic

Visiting hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., through 15 March 2011

Washington, D.C., 4 March 2011 (PAHO)Motherhood, a photo exhibit by Spanish journalist and photographer Bru Rovira, will open on 8 March at the headquarters of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Washington, D.C., as part of the Safe Motherhood Initiative and the celebration of International Women's Day.

The Rovira show, sponsored by Spain's La Caixa Foundation, is part of the Safe Motherhood Initiative, a call by PAHO and the Regional Working Group for the Reduction of Maternal Mortality, together with United Nations agencies and ministries of health of the Americas, to reduce maternal mortality and achieve universal access to reproductive health services.

From 1990 to 2008, the Latin America and Caribbean region reduced its maternal mortality rate by nearly 41%. However, it still has a long way to go to meet the objective of obtaining a 75% reduction by 2015, the commitment made by 189 countries around the world to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Studies estimate that 1 million pregnant women give birth unattended by skilled personnel and that 744,000 women do not receive any prenatal care. According to the*se studies, 9,200 women die each year in Latin America and the Caribbean from complications of pregnancy.

The photo exhibit will be open to the public Monday through Friday at PAHO headquarters from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through 15 March. Thanks to an agreement between PAHO and the La Caixa Foundation, the Motherhood exhibit is being shown in Washington, D.C., as part of a tour of the Americas launched in September 2010 at the OAS. The exhibit was opened by the director of PAHO, Dr. Mirta Roses, and Her Royal Highness Infanta Cristina de Borbón, president of the foundation's International Programs, based in Barcelona. Since then, the exhibit has been seen in Ecuador and the Dominican Republic, and after its stint at PAHO headquarters, it will proceed to Honduras, Paraguay, Peru, and Argentina in the coming months.

The Motherhood exhibit consists of photos by Rovira from 16 countries showing the realities of motherhood around the world. The photographer and journalist received the Ortega y Gasset Award in 2004 for his articles on the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which were published in La Vanguardia, the newspaper where he has worked for over 20 years.

"Nothing and no one can take from a human being his internal strength. You will always be able to find a spark of humanity and beauty within you to hold onto. The bond between mother and child belongs to this private, intimate immaterial universe that is capable of surviving any situation, however badly things may go," Rovira said about his exhibit.

The Pan American Health Organization is the international public health agency with over 108 years of experience working to improve health and quality of life in the countries of the Americas. It serves as the specialized health organization of the Inter-American system and as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization, enjoying international status as part of the United Nations system.