No matter where you are babies draw a crowd. It is no different in Ethiopia at a rural health post where babies are with their mothers for care. At a recent stop at a health post in Hawassa, Ethiopia, one baby girl wore a handmade, traditional bracelet her mother told us keeps away hiccups. Despite the mother’s use of cultural practices she luckily still brought her baby into the health center for preventive medicine and a check-up with the nurses.
Ethiopia is a success story. Through the government, NGOs, and the provate sector ethiopia has effectively reduced the number of newborn deaths from 54 per every 100,000 live births to 29 from 1990 - 2012. That is a remarkable achivement. It’s Health Extension Program, accorsing to Save the Children, is one of the major interventions that is keeping more babies and children alive.
Save the Children just launched its most recent report, Ending Newborn Deaths which lays out a roadmap to drastically decrease the 2.9 million babies that die each year from preventable causes.
In many areas of Ethiopia where traditions still plays an active role in childbirth and health, especially in Ethiopia’s lowlands and highlands, it is customary for mothers who have just had a child to self-isolate for at least six weeks before being seen by other members of the family and the community. Per traditional culture after the isolation period the baby will be named. Unfortunately many of the health complications for babies occur within the first few days of birth, but the government, through the expertise of NGOs on the ground and locals, have been able to keep more children alive through frontline health workers that check on babies and mothers in the critical period right after birth. It is important for health extension workers to care for babies and ensure their healthy development. Because health extension workers are trusted community members sometimes they can see a mother’s baby and sometimes they cannot, but they are making considerable progress.
The health extension workers work diligently to encourage mothers to take their babies to health posts for regular check-ups or bring them in when their babies are sick instead of relying on traditional cultural remedies and practices.
“2.9 million newborns around the world did not live past 28 days and 1 million of those babies died within the first 24 hours of life? 1.2 million babies died of stillbirth in 2012. These numbers are reported in Save the Children’s latest report released today: Ending Newborn Deaths: Ensuring Every Baby Survives. Those numbers are huge, but that doesn’t diminish how many mothers in the United States also lose newborns.”—Rallying for Newborn Health - Mom Bloggers Club
“The first day of a child’s life is the most dangerous, and too many mothers give birth alone on the floor of their home or in the bush without any life-saving help. We hear horror stories of mothers walking for hours during labor to find trained help, all too often ending in tragedy. “It’s criminal that many of these deaths could be averted simply if there was someone on hand to make sure the birth took place safely and who knew what to do in a crisis.””—Rallying for Newborn Health - Mom Bloggers Club
“Holding your baby, hearing the first cry of your baby and nursing your baby for the first time is emotional. The maternal feelings, the bliss, is more than I can describe. And it caused me to forget a lot of the pain and some of the terrible things I said during labor! Both of my daughters were born in Florida. Although there is the chance of newborn death in the first 24 hours in the US, it is much lower than in poverty stricken countries such as Ethiopia and the Republic of Congo. There are many reasons for this newborn deaths, reported by Save the Children. And there are ways to lower these statistics. Their report, “Ending Newborn Deaths: Ensuring Every Baby Survives” tackles these problems. First the good news: “The world has made amazing progress in reducing child mortality during the past decade – nearly halved from 12 million to 6.6 million – thanks to global political action on immunization, treatment of pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria, family planning and nutrition.” (Source – Save The Children)”—End Newborn Death #FirstDay #GlobalTeamof200 - BrainFoggles
By this time, both kids have Medicaid. I found out about early intervention for Kalen a few months before he turned one. I was going to make sure WIC enrolled him in their early intervention program. He is currently receiving early childhood intervention. He also received physical therapy, but he graduated at 29 months, because he started walking. When Kalen turns 3, he can start preschool for developmental disabilities.
Both of my kids plus two miscarriages are why newborn health is important to me. I support prenatal care and early intervention efforts.
“Infant mortality is still a huge issue worldwide. Nearly three million babies died within the first month of life in 2012. One million of these didn’t even survive the first day. Millions more died before their fifth birthday. A big reason for this is lack of healthcare. Forty million mothers give birth alone each year. We were fortunate to have relatively uncomplicated births. But even the minor issues we had - jaundice with one baby, low blood sugar for the other - could have led to long-term complications if we weren’t in a medical facility that could have discovered those issues right off the bat and made sure we were able to do the very easy treatments.”—Motherhood Moment: Caring Causes: Save the Children
I’m participating in a 24-hour blog carnival today in honor of newborn health and the release of Save the Children's new report, Ending Newborn Deaths. In my post, I share my birth stories and the report itself.
I cannot imagine life without these two amazing boys. I am forever…
“Globally, the percentage of very poor has dropped by more than 1/2 since 1990. That’s pretty incredible when you stop to think about it. Again, there are still one billion people living in extreme poverty globally. The Gates letter isn’t written to tell us we’ve made everything better, it’s just trying to point out the efforts being made are working.
Here’s another myth buster from the Gates letter. Did you know that only 1% of our Federal Budget is spent on Foreign Aid? One percent works out to around $11 Billion dollars, which by anyone’s standards is a whole lot of money. But averaged out, it’s $30 per American. Would you willingly donate $30 a year to protect 120 kids from communicable diseases? That’s a question to ask when we’re talking budget cuts in this country.”—Annual Gates Letter: Busting Myths That Impede Improving Poverty | The Right Hand Mom