Those of us who are more "seasoned" nurses remember that in response to devastating health crises in Africa, in 1985 talented artists came together and performed "We are the World" written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie to raise millions of dollars for assistance. When there was a massive earthquake in Haiti in 2010, the song was used again to raise funds for another impressive relief effort. The words to this song calling for us to care about our brothers and sisters throughout the world apply to this global health issue of MCN.
It is sobering to consider that yearly 8 million children die of preventable causes, and more than 350,000 childbearing women die from preventable complications. The United Nations Every Woman, Every Child initiative launched in September 2010 is a global call to action for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The goal of this ambitious global strategy is to improve the health of hundreds of millions of women and children, the cornerstone of healthy societies.
Three of the articles in this issue focus on global nursing partnerships that include advocacy and nursing leadership initiatives. Kennedy and associates provide us with a 30-year perspective on the impressive global outreach activities of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. This article is closely tied to the recommendations found in the State of the Women's Midwifery Report developed by the United Nations Population Fund and 30 partners. Congratulations to our nurse midwife colleagues for their landmark efforts! Kenner and Boykova describe global policy work between American and Russian nurses that promotes the health and well-being of neonates and their families across continents. Capuitulo and colleagues share how a transcultural nursing leadership institute is being established in China to overcome sociocultural differences and foster global nursing relationships.
Corbett and Callister give voice to vulnerable and disadvantaged childbearing women in Tamil Nadu, India, emphasizing the importance of qualitative inquiry to guide culturally competent clinical practice. Their research highlights the importance of understanding the social determinants of health. Guimei compares data on patterns of violence against Egyptian women in rural, urban, and squatter communities, documenting that human rights and women's health are inextricably linked. This research supports a resolution by American Mothers International presented at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women's March 2012 meetings calling for faith-based initiatives to reduce violence against childbearing women worldwide.
Technologies and innovative solutions to global health concerns are described in two articles in this issue. A group of committed colleagues from San Francisco to Egypt and Nigeria share data on how nurses in low-resource settings are saving the lives of women as they stabilize those experiencing postpartum hemorrhage with the nonpneumatic antishock garment. In a study conducted in Turkey, the use of cold and vibration stimulation reduced pain and anxiety in children during blood draws. These are examples of nurses making a difference globally.
With the world population now over seven billion, and the global village growing smaller and smaller, our colleagues teach us how nurses can and are making a difference around the world. Please consider how you personally can contribute to global initiatives. Another phrase from "We are the World" seems appropriate for all of us to consider: "And it's time to lend a hand to life, the greatest gift of all" (http://www.lyrics007.com).