For the recent Yahoo! charitable contribution I worked with Erin Thornton, Executive Producer of Every Mother Counts, who was able to get in touch with a campaign chief at Save the Children. Here’s how our contributions are going to be applied:
In Bangladesh, only 1 in 4 births are attended by a medically trained healthcare provider. The option of skilled birth attendance simply doesn’t exist now in many Bangladeshi villages, and giving birth with no professional help, while common, is extremely dangerous to both mother and baby. In Bangladesh, 1 of every 30 babies dies in the first month of life—about half of them shortly after birth—and 1 in 51 women dies from pregnancy or birth complications.
In Sylhet, northeast Bangladesh, the scenario is worse. Most girls are married before they turn 18 and child mortality rates are among the worst in the nation. Save the Children has been working in the area since 2002, training women to provide basic lifesaving newborn health care in their own communities. Many mothers have little access to doctors or nurses, but these community health workers can promote lifesaving practices like proper hygiene, breastfeeding and care for sick newborns. However, having a skilled birth attendant or midwife at birth is still an uncommon occurrence.
With contributions provided to Save the Children, some of the top performing community health workers will be enrolled in the national Skilled Birth Attendant (SBA) program and receive the training to become community birth attendants in Sylhet. The cost of the training and getting them started with the materials needed is approximately $3500 per midwife so we can provide training for 3 with $10,000.
With this training, these women will conduct normal deliveries at home for women who cannot get to facilities, and provide essential maternal and newborn care at the time of birth. SBAs are also trained to recognize complications and, when necessary, respond quickly to get life-saving medical treatment to the mother and newborn.
Not only is Yahoo! donating $10,000, but you guys donated $4,065 that we, Armstrong Media, LLC, are going to match. So that’s a total of $18,130 being donated to Save the Children.
Bravo, you guys. Thank you so much.