Nearly 300,000 mothers die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth every year and 1 million newborns die on their birth day.
The loss of a mother is a tragedy. Each mother leaves an average of 4 orphaned children behind whose health, education and future potential suffer.
Africa is one of the dangerous continents to give birth in large part because of a severe shortage of skilled health workers who can provide essential medical care to moms and newborns. In fact half of all women in Africa lack the recommended care during pregnancy and childbirth.
Most deaths happen in the 24 hour period around childbirth – so one of the most targeted and cost-effective ways to save mothers and their babies is to invest in quality education and training for midwives, nurses and community health workers serving in health facilities and directly in communities across Africa.
Stand Up For African Mothers
LKF is proud to partner with Amref Health Africa, the continent’s leading health development organization, in support of their Stand Up for African Mothers campaign which aims to address the severe shortage of skilled health workers who can care for mothers and their newborns across Africa.
Together, our goal is to train 15,000 midwives to reduce the high rate of maternal mortality across seven countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Senegal, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. These midwives could provide care and health education to 7.5 million mothers. Midwives save lives and have a major impact on women’s health. Visit www.amrefusa.org to learn more about this campaign.
Expanding Maternal Health Education
Many young women have little access to information and knowledge about reproductive and maternal health. Young advocates are helping to change this. LKF works with the International Leadership Academy of Ethiopia on a peer-to-peer maternal health awareness campaign that engages girls from high schools across Ethiopia in sharing information about safe maternity care. Our goal is to help young leaders make a difference for moms in their communities.
Upgrading Maternity Clinics
Between 2011-2015 LKF funding helped to train staff and equip the maternity centers at two district hospitals in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region in south central Ethiopia in partnership with the Ethiopian North American Health Professionals Association (ENAHPA) and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Our impact: At the Hawassa Safe Mothering Center over 10,000 women gave birth safely and the number of women seeking pre and postnatal care increased by 25%. The maternal mortality rate at this hospital is now less than .1%. Read the full performance report here.