MATERNAL & CHILD HEALTH






Approximately 295,000 maternal deaths occur each year globally, and 5.3 million children will not reach the age of five.

Newborns delivered and provided care

Mothers and children receiving care

Healthcare workers empowered

WHY MATERNAL & CHILD HEALTH?

We believe that health is a human right. Giving birth should not be a life-threatening experience. However, in 2015 there were an estimated 303,000 maternal deaths. The World Health Organization refers to Maternal Health as the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. In some developing countries, 1 in 54 women die during pregnancy and childbirth — that’s a 90x more likely occurrence than in developed countries.

Approximately half of women in developing countries have access to skilled care during pregnancy and childbirth. The greatest factors that prevent women from receiving skilled care are poverty, lack of information, distance from medical facilities, inadequate services, and cultural practices. Because most complications of pregnancy and childbirth are well-known and treatable or preventable, providing access to skilled care during childbirth, as well as providing education and support in the weeks after childbirth is crucial and can drastically decrease the rate of maternal mortality.

In 2018, approximately 5.3 million children under the age of five died. Four out of every five deaths occurred in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia and are caused by illnesses that are not only treatable, but preventable. More than half of all childhood deaths are caused by diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, and preterm birth. All of these causes are preventable through vaccinations, medication, nutrition, and health education.

2.6 million infants die each year during their first month of life. A vast majority of these deaths can be prevented with proven, simple and inexpensive solutions. By providing resources, health education, and training to communities in impoverished regions of the world, we can drastically decrease the rates of child mortality.

Jennifer and Kwadwo
When she was ten weeks pregnant, Jennifer joined the Mother Mentor program with our partner GHEI. On April 30th, 2018, Jennifer gave birth to her son, Kwadwo. Since giving birth, Mother Mentor Lilian pays Jennifer a visit every two weeks to discuss a variety of topics related to the well-being and development of the child, such as hygienic practices to prevent infections, the ins and outs of breastfeeding, the importance of vaccines, and how to prevent and treat diarrhea. Kwadwo is growing healthy and strong with the knowledge that Jennifer now has!
Training Midwives in Afghanistan
Every healthy birth is a reason to celebrate. That's why we partnered with Action for Development to train midwives in Afghanistan, so that more women have access to a skilled birth attendant. When the midwives were asked about their experience with the skills gap training program, they said, “The subjects taught in this training were very helpful, effective and unique as they are usually not included in the curriculum of midwifery school in such detail. Everything we have learned during this training will be transferred to other midwives, as we aim at decreasing maternal/child mortality rates in our country.”
Crisis Pregnancy Support
Vorleak was referred to our partner Mother's Heart after being trafficked to China as a child bride. “Mother’s Heart was quick to support me as soon as I was referred to them. I received crisis pregnancy counseling and helped me cope with the changes in me, physical and emotional. The staff was kind, they were not judgmental, and they provided me with choices along the way about what support and services are available to me whichever way I take. They helped me explore my feelings and fears and gave me space when I needed. They also reached out to my mother and other family members, to help them come to understand what happened to me, accept me and my baby so that they are able to support me emotionally when I return to our village."
Village Savings for Child Health
It is late afternoon and the women begin arriving at the meeting location for their weekly Savings for Health program group in the shade of an old moringa tree. Korotoumou is there with two of her six children. Participating in the savings group gives the families the opportunity to save for their future needs, such as healthcare expenses. The most frequent illness Korotoumou's family encounters is malaria, which is especially prevalent during the rainy season as the mosquito population booms. But with the Savings for Health program, she can now rest a little easier. The collective nature of the savings group gives her confidence that her community cares and a feeling of agency in being able to contribute to the better health of not just her children, but many other children.

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