Our Approach to Ending Preventable Deaths
The health and well-being of women and children lies at the core of Project HOPE’s programs. Since our founding, we have witnessed the life-changing impact of both increasing access to trained health care workers and improving the quality of care delivered for women, children and families living in underserved and vulnerable communities. Our commitment is to continually develop innovative programs and instill best practices that help reverse these staggering trends reported by the World Health Organization, in which:
Every day another 15,000 children under the age of 5 die and over 800 women die from consequences of pregnancy and childbirth.
What drives us to do more? Many of these deaths are preventable.
Project HOPE’s reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health programs improve the quality of care and the continuum of care from facility to community. We use strategies that harness the potential and strengthen the capacity of communities and the health workforce for both prevention and treatment. We improve the systems for teaching mothers, families, and caregivers about reproductive health, prenatal care, how to keep infants and children healthy, and when to seek care at a health facility.
Most importantly, we focus on enabling a legacy of ongoing care that can help save lives today and into the future.
Protecting the First Day -- and First Year -- of Life
We know that the most dangerous day for a baby born in a poverty zone is the first day of life. And as they grow, the threats mount. Almost half of newborn deaths occur in the first 28 days. Many fall victim to pneumonia, diarrhea, parasites, lung problems or malnutrition. They die because there's no trained midwife or nurse. They die because there's no emergency care. For mother’s, the challenges are no less fatal.
Here's What We Do:
The risk begins here. Moms are weakened from malnourishment and struggle with illness from lack of medical attention. A healthy pregnancy? It's almost impossible. We work to change that.
HOPE Programs Provide:
- Equipment for High-risk Pregnancy Screenings
- Prenatal Care
- Midwife Training
No trained midwife. No nurse. No medicine. Not even a birthing center. That's the situation for moms in poverty zones when they're giving birth. Their lives and their newborns are in grave danger. It doesn't have to be that way.
HOPE Provides Training for:
- Skilled Birth Attendants
- Safe and Clean Deliveries
- Kangaroo Mother Care
Within 24 hours, babies in poverty zones are at risk. Low birth weight from malnutrition weakens them, while lack of sanitation and poor hygiene leaves them vulnerable to infection and parasites. We work to protect these precious newborns.
We Provide Training and Supplies for:
- Helping Babies Breathe / Essential Newborn Care
- Emergency Care
- Nutrition / Exclusive Breastfeeding
Babies at 3 months face a range of threats as they grow up in poverty. One of the deadliest is actually diarrhea. It’s always lurking. And it can kill a child in days.
We Provide Training and Supplies for:
- Routine Checkups at the Community and Facility Level
- Trained Community Health Workers
- Child Health Care Education
Pneumonia, malnutrition, infections and more continue to attack babies in poverty zones. Without care, these simple, childhood illnesses — all easily preventable — turn deadly. That’s why our programs are so critical.
- Medical Supplies
- Improved Health Care Facilities
Introducing Lifesaving Techniques in Sierra Leone
Sometimes our interventions are simple, like in Sierra Leone, a country that has the highest maternal death rate in the world and an infant mortality rate that is unacceptably high. Through a Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) program, we are training local health workers and providing HOPEful outcomes to mothers, especially those who give birth prematurely.
More than 50 percent of births around the globe are not attended by skilled health care workers.
In two of the Sierra Leone’s main hospitals, Project HOPE established KMC-dedicated units to ensure low birth weight babies have a greater chance of survival. These units, which are now fully functional with essential equipment and supplies, provide mothers and infants with supplemental care after birth and offer training on proper breastfeeding, hygiene techniques and the benefits of the skin-to-skin contact that Kangaroo Mother Care provides.
HOPE-trained health care workers also follow up with home visits on a regular basis to ensure babies continue to grow and to provide support to mothers with any challenges that arise.
“We appreciate the encouragement, sense of commitment of the hospital staff, particularly Project HOPE in providing the much needed assistance and support in ensuring that our babies developed from the low birth weight to the healthy weight babies,” said Ruth, a mother of premature twins born at a Hospital in Sierra Leone equipped with a KMC unit. Read Ruth’s full story.
Support our Kangaroo Mother Care campaign.
Reducing Infant Mortality in Macedonia
HOPE’s approach to improving healthy outcomes for mothers and children around the world is as varied and unique as the communities in which we work. We are keenly aware that a “one-size fits all” approach is not effective in solving local health delivery challenges. For example, in Macedonia, which remains one of Europe’s most economically struggling countries, HOPE deployed a range of strategies to address the inadequate standards in health care that exist.
Because of the country’s high infant mortality rate, Project HOPE launched an ambitious project to address comprehensive improvements to pregnancy, childbirth and newborn care. Public awareness initiatives helped call attention to the importance of basic medical exams and care. Education programs were targeted to smaller clinics to help better identify high-risk pregnancies earlier. And, HOPE provided specialized training for health care workers on the use of newly donated equipment including patient monitors, IV and syringe pumps, a mobile digital x-ray machine and four ultrasound units (three for obstetrics and one for the perinatal screening of the heart and brain of neonates).
HOPE’s efforts also improved the logistics, administration and transport of premature babies to properly-equipped facilities in the capital city of Skopje. This was a critical gap since nearly three quarters of premature babies need to be transported for treatment and there was no adequate system of care in place. Dr. Skeparoska, a gynecologist at the Mother Theresa Obstetrics and Gynaecology Hospital says the lifesaving equipment and training is giving “HOPE to mothers and babies” in Macedonia.
Training Midwives in Indonesia
Since 2013, HOPE has been working with the Serang District Health Office in Indonesia to improve access to skilled maternal and newborn care to reduce the high maternal and newborn mortality rates in the country. This collaborative project trains health center staff to handle emergency obstetric and neonatal complications, as well as trains village midwives across several key areas:
- Complication readiness
- Lifesaving skills, infection control and prevention of hypothermia
- Breastfeeding best practices
- Postnatal visits
Ani, a young mother from Serang Indonesia is thankful for Project HOPE’s interventions. “When my baby was born, she wasn’t breathing and the midwife treated her (with resuscitation) to save her life,” she said. “I am grateful that my midwife was trained by Project HOPE so my baby was safely delivered at the Health Center.” Read More.
The program in Indonesia has increased the percentage of women giving birth with skilled health providers from 59 to 87 percent.
Expanding Capacity in the Dominican Republic
A new Saving the Newborn campaign has brought $350,000 of donated neonatal equipment like incubators, vital sign monitors, aspirators and more to the San Lorenzo de los Mina Maternity Hospital which sees more than 12,000 births annually. The new program also provides additional training to hospital staff with the goal of helping the hospital became a model institution of obstetric and care of sick newborns in the Dominican Republic.
Our Work Must Continue
Your support can help Project HOPE continue to reach vulnerable populations around the world and provide the training and supplies needed to save the lives of mothers and babies.