Safer Motherhood & Child Survival
- Each day 1,000 women die in pregnancy or childbirth (99% of them lived in the developing world). One million children are left motherless annually putting their survival at risk
- For every woman who dies, 20 more are damaged from conditions such as fistula
- The number of maternal, infant and child deaths is falling but the incidence is still too high
In the past 20 years, the number of maternal deaths has fallen by one-third and 12,000 fewer young children now die each day. This is undoubtedly good news. We know that the measures being taken around the world are working but efforts must be redoubled if we are to eradicate this scourge of untimely death which disproportionately affects the very poorest women and children.
IMPACT has played our part in the remarkable progress made. ‘Safer Motherhood and Child Survival’ has been a key priority since our inception and we continue to implement a host of effective initiatives.
One of the best ways to keep mothers and infants safe is regular health monitoring and trained assistance during delivery. Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) are local women who deliver most of the babies in developing countries. They usually have no formal training and some of their methods put lives at risk. IMPACT provides comprehensive instruction and sterile equipment kits to TBAs to enable them to carry out their work more safely in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan.
Healthcare for women can be a low priority, especially when a family has little spare money. Through our projects, we are creating understanding that a mother’s health is essential to the wellbeing of the entire household.
We also provide ante and post natal care through mobile clinics in Kenya and Zanzibar and static clinics in Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan. Monitoring is crucial to identifying and managing potentially life-threating problems such as pre-eclampsia.
Women who give birth alone, without professional help or miles from the nearest health facility are at greater risk of developing a fistula (a tear in the birth canal). Sadly, during the obstructed labours which cause fistula the baby often dies. We support a dedicated fistula unit in Arusha, Tanzania, where impoverished women come for surgical repair. IMPACT Bangladesh also provides fistula operations.
IMPACT Mothers’ Clubs in Bangladesh and India are forums for women to meet each month and learn about health and nutrition. They have thousands of members who are taking proactive steps to enhance the wellbeing of their families.
£100 trains and equips another Traditional Birth Attendant
The Individual IMPACT
Bihusi has been pregnant four times but has no children. Following three miscarriages, in 1976 Bihusi finally gave birth after two days in labour. Her relatives had to take her 25 miles to the nearest hospital. Tragically, her child did not survive beyond three months.
The complicated labour also left Bihusi with a fistula (tear in the birth canal) which caused her pain, incontinence and embarrassment. Unable to afford help, she lived with this problem for almost 30 years until she heard of the Fistula Clinic IMPACT supports in Arusha, Tanzania. Following treatment, Bihusi is happy and healthy once again.