A mother waits outside a Project Medishare clinic in Casse located in the Central Plateau. In light of maternal mortality rates, Project Medishare is focusing on women and children's health through the Community Health Program. Photo by Jennifer Browning.
By Jennifer Browning
In Haiti, the high rate of maternal mortality remains a challenge. Haiti’s statistics regarding maternal mortality are among the highest in the Caribbean: 1 out of every 37 female deaths is linked to a high-risk pregnancy. Within Haiti, the Central Plateau has the highest maternal mortality rates of all.
Project Medishare has been continually working toward decreasing the maternal mortality rate in Haiti’s Central Plateau. Construction of our new Maternal Health Center was completed at the end of December. Thanks to the Greig Family, who completely funded the construction, women in the Central Plateau are closer to having access to a full package of women’s health services including reproductive health education, family planning, along with HIV/AIDS counseling and testing. Currently, we are still in need of funding to provide necessary equipment for the Maternal Health Center before it can become operational.
In light of these maternal mortality rates, Project Medishare is focusing on women and children’s health. Through the Community Health Program, our local medical staff provides vaccinations, as well as iron for all women between 15-49 years old, targeting pregnant women. In 2009, Project Medishare provided complete vaccination coverage to 2,175 pregnant women and to 2,718 women between 14-49 years of age.
Since the beginning of our Community Health Program in 2003, our local medical staff has also reached out to pregnant women to see that they receive pre-natal care. And between 2003 and 2009, Project Medishare increased the number of pre-natal visits for pregnant women from no pre-natal visits to an average of three visits for each woman, ensuring a healthier pregnancy and a healthier baby.
Among other things Project Medishare does with women within the Community Health Program, each local Community Health Agent holds a monthly “Mother’s Club” meeting. During these meetings, the Community Health Agent educates and discusses specific subjects with the women such as family planning, parenting, child abuse, schooling of children, hygiene and nutrition (health maintenance), and home vegetable gardening to name a few.
Darline and Martine moved to Casse with their younger sister and their two children two weeks after the earthquake. They came to the Central Plateau to live with their stepfather who is providing them shelter. These sisters and their children receive healthcare services from the Community Health Program. Project Medishare's population in the Central Plateau has expanded since the earthquake. Photo by Jennifer Browning.
With the recent migration of earthquake victims from Port-au-Prince, Project Medishare’s population in Thomonde has increased by 29 percent. In Marmont, our population increased by 18 percent. This increase places a strain on our Community Health Program which was already financially stressed before the earthquake.
This Mother’s Day we ask that you honor the women we serve in the Central Plateau by making a donation to help us continue improving healthcare services to women. For each gift of $25, we will send a Mother’s Day card to a special woman in your life, letting her know a donation has been made in her honor.
What a great way to honor a special woman in your life by donating towards the improvement of women’s health.The women of Haiti will appreciate your thoughtful gift, which will allow us to continue our important work and help women survive to raise healthy children.
Honor your mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, stepmother, aunt, sister, or friend with a gift of $25 to Project Medishare. Your contribution will help us continue improving healthcare for women and children in rural Haiti while making a difference by helping develop healthy mothers in Haiti.
This year Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 9. To ensure that your note is mailed on time, we must receive your donation by Wednesday, April, 28. Click here to make your donation now. Once you have donated, email Project Medishare at email@example.com with the address(es) of those you are honoring so they may receive their special Mother’s Day card.
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