In India, a woman dies every seven minutes from a pregnancy complication.
The deaths often stem from preventable causes like infection and hemorrhaging, which can be controlled and easily treated by trained health care providers. But for families living in remote villages, paying the transportation fees to a hospital is an expense they can’t afford. As a result, women in rural villages give birth at home, far from the medical help they would need if something were to go wrong.
UNICEF saw a simple, effective solution to this problem and acted. It created Helpline
In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re always reaching out to people. We want them (and that includes you) to have the chance to learn about all the ways we help kids around the world. We have so many programs in so many countries, it’s not an easy task.
Recently, some of the very talented people I work with made this video, which beautifully illustrates UNICEF’s work to do whatever it takes to save a child. As far as I can tell, it’s impossible to watch this video and not be moved by the scope of UNICEF’s efforts
I often joke with my friends that my daughter was born hungry.
Immediately after being born, the nine-pound little porker wanted to eat. A kind nurse at the hospital who noticed how exhausting labor was for me thought I could use a break and offered me formula. It was tempting, but I chose to breastfeed instead, which has been one of the best decisions I’ve made as a mother.
Recently, I had a great conversation with Shanelle Hall, director of UNICEF’s supply division. As if I didn’t know it already, she really gave me a vivid sense of how many essential, lifesaving supplies UNICEF gets to children all over the globe, every day. In 2007, for example, we shipped enough educational kits to supply over 12 million children and 100,000 teachers. We procured 3.2 billion doses of vaccine, at a value of $617 million
Vaccination drives can take a lot of work: running public service announcements, coordinating health workers, plannng events, etc. On top of these logitical challenges, organizers sometimes face unexpected hurdles like misconceptions about vaccines that stop people from getting lifesaving immunizations.
In Egypt where UNICEF was trying to protect mothers and babies from tetanus, many women had heard false rumors that the vaccines acted as contraceptives or caused sterilization. As a result, a lot of women refused to be immunized, putting themselves and their future children at risk. This presented a troubling situation for Egyptian health officials who were trying to curb the disease.
But UNICEF tackled the problem with a creative, grassroots approach. UNICEF and its partners trained 5,000 local Egyptian women to serve as community liaisons and educate their relatives and neighbors about the benefits of immunization.
Thirty years ago, only one out of five children were immunized against killer diseases like measles and polio. Throughout the developing world, millions of children were dying of illnesses that had all but disappeared in the world’s wealthier countries. Since then, a near miracle has taken place. Now, four out of five children are protected by vaccines. Polio is on the verge of elimination. Measles and tetanus deaths have been reduced dramatically. This miracle did not happen by itself.
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