Seven years after launching our Maternal and Child Health Program, Physicians for Peace expands efforts to support healthier moms and babies.
Too often, a pregnant woman in rural Nigeria is at serious risk of becoming another statistic in the maternal mortality index. She’s lucky if she can manage the trip from her village to the nearest health clinic. Even then, the health workers may not be trained to provide care if things go wrong. In fact, USAID estimates 500,000 women die each year from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Ninety-nine percent of these deaths happen in the developing world. But in Pampaida, Nigeria – a cluster of villages in Kaduna State – pregnant women have a critical lifeline in Dr. Ojo Euitayo and his small team of midwives. Dr. Ojo, as he is known, is the sole physician at the Pampaida Health Clinic. The clinic serves a population of about 20,000, including thousands of pregnant women and recently delivered babies and it provides a safe and clean place for prenatal and antenatal appointments, labor and delivery, and information sharing between the villages’ traditional birth attendants and clinic staff. For three years, it’s also been a partner site for Physicians for Peace training.
In Nigeria and far beyond, Physicians for Peace trains healthcare teams that care for pregnant women, mothers and infants, ensuring that local village clinics and hospitals have the skills and resources they need to save lives and protect the connection between a healthy mother and her baby. We train medical teams, so that families have the chance to realize their dreams without the burden of preventable injuries and death. In this special issue of NewsPeace, you’ll find out more about our work on behalf of mothers and babies in underserved areas -- and how your investments are saving lives and building healthy communities.
Standing Together for Mothers and Babies
In many places, giving birth is still a life-threatening activity. The World Health organization estimates that for every woman who dies in childbirth,
20 more suffer injury, infection or disease. That’s 10 million women every year. Babies are at serious risk, too. Four million newborns die in the first four weeks of life each year, according to USAID. This is a tragedy. Most of these women and babies live in the developing world. We believe the answer to this health crisis is better care through trained, in-country providers. Since 2005 Physicians for Peace has delivered targeted education to healthcare professionals and community health workers serving mothers and babies in countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. In 2011 alone, we trained nearly 180 health workers, ensuring that the youngest members of the next generation, and the women caring for them, have the best possible chance for a safe and healthy life.