Last week, HCW attended a 1-day conference called Maternal and Child Survival: A Decade of Progress and Action for the Future hosted by USAID, UNICEF, and the Governments of India, Senegal, and the United Kingdom. This conference brought together bilateral organizations like the WHO, NGOs like Save the Children, researchers, and Ministries of Health to discuss the progress made on reducing the number of maternal and children's deaths around the world.
HCW attended alongside representatives from the Healey International Relief Foundation, Project HOPE, Rural Healthcare Initiative, Tenki for Born, Maison de Naissance, and other Together for Global Health members.
Overall, the evidence presented showed that while much progress in reducing the number of deaths of children under five and mothers, progress has slowed. In order to reach the Sustainable Development Goal's targets for maternal and child deaths, 4 big goals were discussed: coverage, quality, equity, and residence. These goals include but are not limited to:
Although HCW is a small organization, we are a part of the progress in each of these four areas. Through our medical outreaches, we are able to fill in the gaps for care to hard to reach communities. With the doctor's residence being completed on Mercy Hospital's campus, Dr. Stevens is always available for emergencies at the hospital. HCW provides medical training to doctors, nurses, and community health workers in Bo and throughout Sierra Leone during our medical missions trips in July. Our cadre of midwives and nurses provide compassionate care to mothers and children, and our daily work with our partners is on health system strengthening to increase the capacity to respond to change. Each year over 300 women receive prenatal care at Mercy Hospital. In 2022, 184 babies were delivered at the hospital, and there were zero maternal deaths.
The conference closed with remarks from Dr. Murabit from the Gates Foundation, who express that the Gates Foundation operated under the idea of "impatient optimism." Looking back at the progress that has been made in Maternal and Child Health over the last 10 years, HCW is also optimistic about the future for women and children that we can be a part of, and impatient to make it happen.
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