This Sunday, 3 April 2011, marks Mother's Day in the UK. In honor of the occasion, we're highlighting the UK's aid efforts, as set out in their Framework for Results, that will help at least two million women to deliver their babies safely with skilled midwives, nurses and doctors. Over the next four years this support will help to save the lives of at least 50,000 women during pregnancy and childbirth and 250,000 newborns - helping more babies in the world's poorest countries grow up with the love and support of their mothers.
Some of the key focuses of the project are:
- Tackling maternal deaths in Nigeria
In Nigeria, where Mother's Day is also celebrated on Sunday April 3 this year, the likelihood of a woman dying of pregnancy and childbirth-related causes is one in 23, compared with one in 4,700 in the UK. To reduce this number by one third, UK aid is increasing the number of health workers in Nigeria, providing contraceptives to prevent unintended pregnancies and improving maternal health care for millions of mothers.
- Using body language to save lives
In northern Nigeria, an innovative UK aid funded community programme is helping women to recognize and remember the danger signs of a difficult pregnancy or birth. The project helps midwives teach community health volunteers how to spot pregnancy warning signs through a simple technique known as 'body tools'. Over 80% of women in northern Nigeria are illiterate and this technique makes it easier for them to recall and pass on information - no leaflets are needed and anyone can be taught the signs and symptoms by using their body as a reminder.
- Safe labors, healthy newborns
Community health volunteer who receive the crucial training can use their new knowledge to not only save women's lives, but to also protect the health of their newborns.
- Safety in numbers
Helping midwives train volunteers in rural communities creates a virtuous circle of life-saving knowledge. The body tool technique is being used to teach volunteers about the importance of planning for a safe pregnancy. Fatsuma now encourages families to contribute to a community savings scheme for medical care, arrange emergency transport and find out about potential blood donors.
By 2013 this UK aid funded programme will increase the number of deliveries attended by skilled birth attendants each year from 8,172 to 150,000. And around two million women in Nigeria will receive better maternal health care thanks to improved health facilities.
Get more info:
- YouTube film - mothers in Nigeria share their wishes for their children http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p1ssi3N9fU
- YouTube film - the road to better healthcare in Nigeria http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddDhFzX8zXw
- Photo story - see how body tools are helping women in Nigeria http://www.flickr.com/photos/dfid/sets/72157626247609755/
- Find out more about the UK's reproductive, maternal and newborn health policy - http://www.dfid.gov.uk/rmnh