Mums & Babies
Having a Baby Should be Exciting
Having a baby is an exciting time and seems the most natural thing to do. Yet we here in the west know the possible dangers and so surround ourselves with health specialists, maternal experts and pre and post-natal educational services. And when delivering we book ourselves into the best medical facilities in the world to ensure the best outcome for mum and baby. Now, imagine you are pregnant in a poor community.
The statistics are frightening^.
- 99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries.
- Every year 2 million deaths among mothers and newborns occur at the time of birth.
- Skilled health workers lead to a 54% reduction in mortality at birth.
- An estimated 287,000 women died during pregnancy and childbirth in 2010.
- Approx. 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth every day.
- In poor countries, complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death in girls aged 15-19.
It can be a scary, anxious time. Limited access to good information, supportive health services and specialist medical care can mean little or no support for pregnant and labouring mums or their newborn babies. And this lack can have devastating consequences. Women risk losing their lives if complications arise during labour or may end up carrying and suffering the effects of painful injuries sustained during labour for the rest of their lives.
Malnourished or sick babies either die or go on to develop illnesses that can stunt their development and growth, ensuring a life of pain and misery.
We at INA decided to invest into the area of maternal health because we believe that we can help make a big difference to the lives of mums and babies.
CombatTing Bad Information
We work with in-country partners to deliver educational programs designed to provide antenatal and post-natal care, promoting safety precautions during delivery, preventing childhood illness and promoting hygiene and sanitation to avert death from birthing. This training is delivered to health workers, mums-to-be and members of the wider community.
Sometimes ‘helpful’ advice is offered to new mums from family and community members that is based in religious superstition, harmful cultural traditions or misinformation. The effects of mishandling a pregnancy can literally result in the death of the newborn baby. For example, a mother who was told to avoid ‘non-traditional’ nutritional supplements while pregnant gave birth to a severely malnourished baby who later died. After the same mother received nutritional education from INA she went on to deliver a second baby, born healthy and well.
The objectives of our programs are:
- To promote safe delivery at health facilities to prevent deaths of mothers and babies from complicated pregnancies;
- To promote and implement the safe motherhood program;
- To reduce the prevalence of preventable childhood illnesses through promotion of safe water consumption, sanitation and hygiene;
- To build capacity of mother’s groups and promote safe motherhood.
Early detection of complications in pregnancy helps prevent maternal and child death. Having expert knowledge and receiving proper medical attention such as immunisation, vitamin A and iron supplementation during and after pregnancy for both mother and child are important factors that affect general health and well-being and play a key role in reducing the number of deaths among mothers and children.
Additionally, equipping local communities with emergency obstetric care kits can prevent deaths from complications and infection during delivery.
We primarily seek to help women of child-bearing age and children who are under the age of five years old. Additionally, we intentionally target and include the poor and marginalised in the local communities in our maternal health programs which means everyone gets equal access to information and services.
^ Statistics from Care Australia