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Help and Hope for Mothers and Babies

  • May 5, 2011

Every new mother hopes and prays that her baby will thrive. In the developing world where young women and infants face a fragile existence, that hopeful prayer takes on a special urgency. On Mother’s Day and every day, AmeriCares restores hope for women and children in need in all corners of the world, by building and supporting primary health care programs that save lives.

Ghana: Helping Infants Survive and Thrive
AmeriCares co-sponsored a groundbreaking Neonatal Survival Program, which trained 120 birth attendants and nurses at Ghana health facilities to ensure infant survival in the first 24 hours after birth – a crucial time when half the nation’s infant deaths occur.

The successful six-month pilot program, which will be expanded in current locations and replicated at new sit­­es, also taught new mothers how to recognize key symptoms of illness and when to seek medical help for their babies.

Yaa Pokuaa and bady daughter Saviour, today. Photo provided by MCI.

Photo provided by MCI.

Yaa Pokuaa and baby daughter Saviour, today.

Yaa Pokuaa, one of the first mothers to join the program, rejoiced when her precious newborn daughter, Saviour, got a second chance at life. Saviour stopped breathing moments after birth, and would have died without immediate intervention. Frontline caregivers stepped in and revived tiny Saviour, thanks to the resuscitation training they received.

Since then, both mother and child have participated in an outreach and Mother Education Program that follows the baby’s progress, provides regular check-ups and vaccinations, and teaches mothers basic newborn care and wellness. Saviour’s story has a happy ending – today, she’s a healthy, thriving baby.

“We have learned a lot and now, by the grace of God, we hope that our babies will breathe.”

The program has had a long-term, lifesaving impact for mothers and newborns in Accra and Kusami, Ghana’s two largest metropolitan areas. According to AmeriCares partner, Millennium Cities Initiative:

  • 2,006 mothers delivered a total of 2,027 babies over a six month period.
  • 2,004 of the newborns survived – an astounding 98 percent.
  • 82 newborns required resuscitation at birth – out of which 68 were successfully resuscitated at the delivery site, and 14 were referred to a tertiary facility for further intervention.
Photo provided by MCI.

Photo provided by MCI.

To encourage participation in the program, mothers and caregivers received hygiene and newborn care products from AmeriCares’ corporate donors. We have learned a lot and now, by the grace of God, we hope that our babies will breathe,” explained one midwife.

The NeoNatal Survival and Mother Education Program was co-sponsored by AmeriCares, Johnson & Johnson and Millennium Cities Initiative.

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