A World Charter for Mothers
The Educator of Humanity
“All of us in the Western world have to learn the truth that the mother stands at the core of humanity. It is the mother, the loving mother, who teaches her children the most important of all the arts and sciences, namely the ability to love, the development of the ability to love, so to behave always as to confer survival benefits upon all with whom one comes into contact in a creatively enlarging manner. It is principally from their mothers within the first six years of their lives that children generally learn how to love. We need to restore the mother to her inheritance as the educator of humanity.”
Ashley Montagu, “The Humanization of Man”.
At a March 2008 international experts’ conference in Muscat, Oman, attendees agreed to a declaration that includes:
- The necessity of preventative and cost-effective public health management to optimise health from pre-conception onwards
- The need to promote increased fish and seafood consumption to prevent adverse pregnancy outcomes, cardiovascular diseases, mental ill-health, stroke, cancer and other non-communicable diseases
- The need for the incorporation of nutrition and health education in school and university programmes, especially among medical and paramedical students
The recommendations are aimed at arresting the worldwide rise in brain disorders and non-communicable diseases.
The need for a mothers’ charter
An audit of the 25 member states of the European Union had published the finding that brain disorders had overtaken all other burdens of ill health, at a cost of €386 billion. In July 2008, Dr. Jo Nurse presented in Westminster, UK, the fact that the cost of mental ill health in the UK had reached a staggering £77 Billion, greater than heart disease and cancer combined. In 2010 it was re-assessed at £105 billion. The Wellcome Trust web site has now calculated the sum at for 2013 at £113 billion. A continuation in this upward trend leads to the unthinkable.
Last century, the nutrition and health paradigm was based on protein and body growth. As a species, Homo sapiens is not renowned for body growth. The highest focus of our biology is devoted to the brain. The brain is not a protein-rich organ, but a fat-rich organ, built with highly specialised essential fats.
Based on the knowledge of the brain’s dependence on these essential fats from the diet, and their subsequent loss in recent years, it was predicted way back in 1972 that brain disorders would follow in the wake of the huge increase in deaths from heart disease which occurred last century. This prediction has now come to pass, and brain disorders are spreading worldwide to join the top three burdens of ill health by 2020.
There is strong evidence from bio-medical research of a substantial contribution in the rise of brain disorders from poor maternal nutrition during pregnancy and lactation. The supreme importance of mothers and their nutrition and health, cannot be over emphasised. This is why one of our Trustees, Sir Kenneth Stewart, has called for a “World Charter for Mothers”.
The Mother and Child Foundation is dedicated to supporting the health, nutrition and wellbeing of all mothers and their newborn children. The Foundation sees this strategy as the prime focus for preventing further rises in brain disorders and securing the future health and intelligence of children yet to be born.