The period between birth and the first week of life is one of the most treacherous for a newborn and its mother, and in low-resource settings the high risk of infection compounds the dangers to both. One of the more common threats to newborns, particularly in these settings, are umbilical infections, which render a newborn’s umbilical cord both a line to life and an anchor for deadly infection.
The Do it Yourself (DIY) movement can sometimes, just sometimes, seem like it exists for the sake of itself. You know, just to prove you can do-it-yourself (build a radio, build a canoe, make an electrical circuit). But Advance Aid defies that stereotype. And we think it is a fantastic solution.
“DIY” is music to crafters’ and global health workers’ ears alike. Here, a handful of clever innovators have developed a series of simple tools designed to improve humanitarian conditions around the globe, with minimal training and expense.
These clever devices created in the field, for the field, improve access to clean water, diagnostic technology, renewable energy, communications, and of course, health care. Among them is a DIY AID-supply project designed to make Africa self-sufficient in generating and distributing its own emergency relief supplies.
Nearly one quarter of newborn deaths result from babies failing to draw their first breath after birth. Yet, researchers estimate that newborn resuscitation could save 30 percent of the 814,000 babies lost to this condition each year. The process requires equipment and training that many low-resource birthing settings lack, however, greatly limiting the number of babies around the world with access to this life-saving--or life-giving--practice.
Our last blog covered Ethiopia's health extension workers-- a massive scale-up on non-clinicians who have helped the child mortality rate to plummet over the last decade. Dr. Tedros Adhanom, the former Minister of Health, stated in an address at Georgetown University, "Our community-based Health Extension Program actually exceeded its target by training and deploying over 38, 000 health extension workers countrywide." How exactly did they do it in just three years?
In Ethiopia’s battle on maternal and newborn health, women increasingly comprise the front lines, the infantry, and the battlefield itself. Over the past decade, an all-female “army” of Health Extension Workers has been deployed, in pairs and by the thousands, deep into the rural villages of Africa’s second most populous nation.
The ABCs of Maternal Health Initiatives: A Handy Cheat-Sheet on Large-Scale Partnerships and Campaigns on Maternal Health
We know it's tough to keep track of all the different maternal and children's health foundations, coalitions, and initiatives, with tons out there and more cropping up every day. Each large scale partnership or initiative fills a niche, seeking to reduce maternal mortality through slightly different means. Maternova has put together a cheat-sheet on these newer campaigns and initiatives.