Pregnancy and childbirth are the leading causes of death and disability among women of childbearing age in developing countries. Having a skilled attendant during delivery is considered the single most critical intervention for ensuring safe motherhood.
Direct Relief is deeply committed to reducing maternal and infant mortality. It supports facilities and organizations that train midwives so that more women have access to prenatal and obstetric care, and more babies are properly cared for during their critical first hours and days. It also helps equip birth attendants with necessary supplies so they can make use of their life-saving skills.
Equipped and Ready
Training and equipping midwives significantly improves the chance for safe delivery. Based on input from partners in the field, Direct Relief created special kits to equip midwives. The kits come in two versions: one for traditional midwives working at the village level and another for graduates of formal midwife training programs, or certified midwives.
The traditional midwife kits are targeted to areas where more than 50 percent of deliveries happen at home and to providers who have completed basic birth-attendant training programs. Certified midwife kits have the same materials as a traditional midwife kit, but also include equipment such as stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, and instruments appropriate for births at home or in a health or maternity center. A certified midwife is attending or has graduated from a training program associated with one of our global partner organizations. Kits targeted to partners’ needs have helped increase capacity for safe delivery in several regions around the world:
- Africa – Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Cameroon
- Asia – Afghanistan, Indonesia, India, China (Tibet), Laos, Philippines
- Latin America and the Caribbean – El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti
- Pacific – Fiji
Direct Relief is committed to improving the availability and effectiveness of maternity-related services. Training and equipping midwives significantly increases and improves the chance for safe delivery, saves lives, and safeguards the health of women and their families.