In their new book, Pulitzer Prize-winning husband-and-wife journalists Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn recount the enduring contributions of AMDD late founder, Dr. Allan Rosenfield, to field of global maternal health. Published in September 2009, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide tells the stories of women who face life-threatening complications in pregnancy and childbirth, sexual violence, forced prostitution, and sex trafficking. Kristoff and WuDunn argue that empowering women and girls is not only a human rights obligation, but also key to eliminating poverty.
Kristoff and WuDunn dedicate an entire chapter, A Doctor Who Treats Countries, Not Patients, to Dr. Rosenfield and his lifelong commitment to making pregnancy and childbirth safer. They begin with Dr. Rosenfield’s early work in global maternal health in the 1960s, including a six-year post in Thailand where he helped originate a radical plan to increase access to family planning. In 1975, Dr. Rosenfield joined the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University to head the Center for Population and Family Health, later becoming dean of the school. He founded AMDD in 1999. Throughout the chapter, Kristoff and WuDunn emphasize Dr. Rosenfield’s innovative thinking that helped frame maternal health as a human rights issue and transform worldwide approaches to reducing maternal death and disability.