As AmeriCares works to strengthen health care around the world, there is a special focus on pregnant women, new mothers and babies. In fiscal year 2012, AmeriCares delivered $9 million worth of medicines to hospitals and clinics around the world, helping nearly half a million mothers, infants and young children during the most vulnerable time of their lives.
Along with ongoing deliveries of medicines and supplies, AmeriCares specifically targets resources for these priorities:
- Clean Birth Kits: In Afghanistan, 85 percent of women give birth with no access to professional medical assistance—often with dangerous results: One in six Afghan women dies in childbirth, and infant mortality rates are the third highest in the world. We’re working to change these alarming statistics by partnering with American Medical Overseas Relief to donate clean birth kits to Afshar Hospital in Kabul. The kits provide a safer birth environment and better health outcomes for mothers and babies.
- Diagnostic equipment and training: To strengthen prenatal care, we’ve delivered fetal heart Dopplers to hospitals in Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
- Repair of birth injuries: We co-sponsor a comprehensive obstetric fistula program at Bugando Medical Centre in Tanzania to repair injuries sustained from prolonged obstructive labor. The program has been expanded to help hundreds more women.
- Medicines for premature infants: Our deliveries of lifesaving surfactant replacement drugs help protect the lungs – and sustain the lives – of hundreds of premature infants in Kosovo.
- Vaccinations for mothers and children: Working with a partner in Haiti, we raised immunization rates from 3 percent to 70 percent among women and children in one rural community. Much of the aid we’ve delivered since the devastating 2010 earthquake has gone to support mothers and young children.
- Health support for orphans: In Ghana, AmeriCares One Child One World™ program monitors and supports the health of 1500 orphans in 30 homes receiving our medicines and nutritional supplements.
- Nutrition for preschoolers: With support from the Abbott Fund, we reduced malnutrition among 5,000 pre-schoolers in rural Vietnam. In 2013, we will enroll 6,500 students in the Pediatric Nutrition Program. We support a similar nutrition program in El Salvador that benefited 2,000 youngsters in 2012.
- Educating young girls: In Colombia, we support a Neonatal Care and Adolescent Mothers Program aimed at expanding maternal and infant health services at its Medical Center and reducing mortality for this vulnerable population. In Haiti, we provided close to $500,000 to groups educating girls about their reproductive and social rights.