At any given time in Sierra Leone, 1 in 20 women die because of pregnancy and childbirth, putting the country in the top three most dangerous places in the world to have a baby. The mortality rate of infants and children under 5 is also among the highest globally: 122 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Because many of these deaths are completely preventable when the right care is available, supporters like you are allowing Mercy Hospital to continue changing situations like this for mothers and babies like Jane and her newborn.
Jane lives in a remote village with no access to healthcare. In addition to not being able to pay for treatment, she had to walk for about 3 hours on rough roads to access the nearest clinic during her pregnancy. Sometimes Jane and her friends had to walk at night to the clinic, passing through bushes and mushy swamps.
“We would use flashlights to see where we were going. It was so scary,” she said.
Over 50% of Sierra Leone’s population lives in rural areas, and most of these places have limited or no access to health care.
Many of these women cannot afford the high cost of transport to reach a hospital and this is compounded by extreme poverty, poor roads, and a lack of basic medical supplies in most clinics. By the time a woman experiencing complications in childbirth does manage to reach a clinic and be admitted for treatment, it may be too late.
"During my first pregnancy, I started experiencing labor pains late in the evening. However, to get to the health center, 10 miles away, I had to walk for about three hours as well as cross two swamps and a muddy river.”
Before the intervention at Mercy Hospital, Jane was very worried about her survival and her baby's life. Her enrollment in the maternity program gave her hope. She was given excellent care and gave birth safely to a beautiful baby girl.
Your gift today can help pregnant moms like Jane get a taxi ride to the clinic, saving them hours of walking.
Sierra Leone has one of the highest infant and children under 5 mortality rates in the world: 122 deaths per 1,000 live births.
What can you give today to help save a mother, and create a healthy start for babies and newborns?
At any given time in Sierra Leone today, 1 in 20 mothers die because of pregnancy or childbirth. While pregnancy could be seen as a time of great hope, joy, and a positive experience for all women, it is still a shocking and dangerous experience for most women in Sierra Leone who live in extreme poverty and lack access to maternity care.
Sarah lives in a remote village in Southern Sierra Leone. During her pregnancy, she was very worried about how she would safely deliver. With no access to a nearby healthcare facility, Sarah would walk for 15 miles to access the nearest clinic. Pregnancy survival in Sierra Leone for many women is mostly linked to luck – lucky to live near a healthcare facility, lucky to have money to pay for treatment, lucky to have a nurse or physician nearby, and lucky enough to meet essential medical supplies in stock.
“Sometimes I would do this long walk to a nearby clinic, but I don’t get seen because of the money or because the nurse is not available, or they have run out of medicines. I would feel so sad and frustrated.”
Sierra Leone still ranked as one of the countries with the highest number of women deaths in childbirth, with an estimated maternal death accounting for over 35% of all deaths among women aged 15-49.
With a primary focus on making quality healthcare accessible to the most vulnerable populations, Mercy Hospital is committed to leading the efforts to reduce the high rate at which mothers and babies are dying due to acute malnutrition and a lack of basic maternity care.
Because most of the country’s population lives in rural areas and has very limited or complete lack of access to health care services, Mercy Hospital makes regular outreach visits to impoverished villages every month, providing them with critical health care they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
Sarah’s situation changed when Mercy Hospital’s medical outreach team came to her village with maternity care services. She quickly learned that she was pregnant with twins and that she was likely to have serious issues giving birth and needed to come to the hospital to have a successful delivery.
With Mercy Hospital, she gained hope for her pregnancy and safe delivery. She gave birth to two beautiful babies.
“With everything that I was going through, I knew Mercy Hospital and the donors were the only hope for me and my pregnancy… And they made me overflow with joy having given birth safely to two living babies.”
Mercy Hospital is committed to leading the efforts to reduce the high rate at which mothers and babies are dying due to a lack of basic maternity care. With over 60% of the country's population living in remote areas with very limited or complete lack of access to health care services, Mercy Hospital makes regular outreach visits to impoverished villages every month, providing them with critical health care they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
Sierra Leone is a country in the Sub-Saharan African region, where women are more than 130 times more likely to die from pregnancy and childbirth than a woman in Northern America.
Through the generosity and partnership of caring donors and friends like you, Mercy Hospital is changing this narrative for women in Sierra Leone. Their maternity program restores hope to at-risk pregnant mothers and babies. About 5 times every month, Mercy Hospital takes the clinic to those impoverished communities with no healthcare facilities. They would load their vehicles with medical supplies and medical practitioners and spend almost the whole day in a community, providing free life-changing medical services to hundreds of people, mostly mothers, babies, and children. Essential services like HIV counseling and testing, malaria testing and treatment, prenatal and postnatal care, and nutrition programs are offered during those medical outreach visits.
At one point during an interview with Sarah and her friends, sadness quickly covered their faces. When asked why, you could feel the sadness in thei voices as they explained how one of their friends lost their baby because she did not have access to urgent maternity care.
“If only one of our friends had access to this kind of maternity care early during her pregnancy, her baby would not have died. She could have been here with us.”
At that moment, you can imagine the emotions that flooded through everyone. But thinking of generous donors and partners like you, we have always realized that there is hope. Together, we are creating a future where “there are no more deaths of babies because of a lack of access to basic maternity care.”
Every gift counts when it comes to saving lives!
What can you give today to help save amother and create a healthy start for babies and children under-five?
Thank you for observing Orphan Sunday: Strong Family for Every Child with Helping Children Worldwide yesterday. Today on World Orphan Day, all around the world we continue to advocate for those children living separated from the love and care of a forever family. At HCW we know that the best way to care for a vulnerable child is to care for those who care about that child. By strengthening families and communities, we can ensure that every child grows and thrives.
If you felt moved to do more to ensure that all children grow and thrive, please consider joining us on Giving Tuesday. You can help to transform lives, strengthen families and empower communities by helping us to meet our goal in raising $80,000 to support 180 mothers and their babies with access to reliable maternity care; equip 180 vulnerable families with training to help heal trauma, develop relational and financial resiliency, learn simple business skills and earn microloans to help them become independent; and to empower 180 young household breadwinners currently attempting to provide support for younger siblings, and impaired or disabled adults in their household to become successful and contributing members of their community. We’re also excited that the first $40,000 raised will be matched by our Board of Directors and a group of generous supporters.
Every donation, no matter how small, matters a lot! Join us and let’s shine a light and give the gift of hope and life!
Stay tuned throughout the month of November for more about how you can be a part of this campaign.
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