As one of the world's
leading child development agencies, ChildFund is
committed to improving the lives of children in need across the globe. Although
much of our work focuses on children, their mothers are just as important.
Millions of mothers around the world experience tremendous hardships every day,
and this Mother's Day, ChildFund aims to raise awareness of the challenges
facing mothers in the countries in which we operate.
The Perils of Childbirth
Because of the wider availability of hospitals
and health care, giving birth in developed countries is much safer than in
developing nations. Every day, around 800 women die in childbirth or pregnancy.
For every woman who dies in childbirth, 20 more will develop serious
complications. According to the United Nations' Millennium
Development Goals report published last year, more than 287,000 women died
in childbirth in 2010 alone.
In some countries where ChildFund works, maternal
mortality is a serious problem. In Timor-Leste, for example, one in every 35
women are at risk of dying due to pregnancy complications. Infant mortality
rates in Timor-Leste are among the highest in Southeast Asia, at 44 out of every
1,000 live births. Malnutrition and a lack of skilled health care professionals
mean that, for many women in Timor-Leste, childbirth is particularly
To combat this problem, ChildFund's initiatives
in Timor-Leste focus on providing education about wellness and nutrition to
expectant mothers, as well as training volunteers in the community to identify
and prevent health conditions that can endanger the lives of pregnant women.
Honduras is another
country where maternal mortality rates are high, about 280 deaths out of 100,000
live births. In rural communities, the nearest health clinic can often be a
several hours' walk away, which limits expectant mothers' access to essential
care and support. For this reason, ChildFund introduced an initiative to provide
health care services to pregnant women by traditional birth attendants.
These guides support women throughout their
pregnancy by helping them prepare a birthing plan. This program has proven
extraordinarily successful, as child and maternal mortality rates decreased by
50 percent between 2006 and 2010, and delivery rates in Honduran hospitals rose
from 35 to 50 percent during the same period.
The care and support mothers receive does not end
with birth, however. After successfully delivering their children, Honduran
mothers are assisted by health monitors, specially trained volunteers who
educate families on everything from nutrition to the prevention of diseases.
Children who are identified as being at risk of malnutrition and other
conditions are referred to health huts, where they receive nutritional
assistance and other support.
Child and maternal mortality rates are
particularly high in many African nations, especially Ethiopia. The situation is
so serious that every year, more than 472,000 Ethiopian children die before
their fifth birthday. ChildFund came to Ethiopia
in 1972, and to date, we have helped more than 1 million people through a
variety of initiatives.
"I will never forget the day I joined the
project," says a young woman who was helped by ChildFund. "I have received
nutritional support for my children and training that helped me and my family to
survive. I am happy with all my family, and our dark life has been changed to
bright future with the help of ChildFund Ethiopia."
This Mother's Day, bring hope to mothers around
the world by purchasing a gift from our Gifts of
Love & Hope catalog. With so many ways to give, you can help
ChildFund protect the lives of women in some of the world's poorest countries
and ensure they live to see their children grow