The unfortunate truth is that in sub-Saharan Africa, 1 in 9 children will not make it to their fifth birthday. In developed countries, this number is 1 in 152. One in three mothers give birth without a skilled attendant and there are still about 2 million women in the world who give birth completely alone. What is the difference? Skilled birth attendants. World Vision helps to train midwives and ‘frontline’ workers to help increase the rates of infant and mother survival.
Lisa Bos shares the experience of her nephew’s first days, who was born in the United States.
Will is blessed, though. He was born in a children’s hospital surrounded by doctors and nurses. He was monitored by machines that warned of any complications and had access to tests that gave important information like his platelet count and oxygen levels. Many children are not so fortunate. Of the nearly 7 million deaths of children under five every year, 43 percent occur within the first 28 days after childbirth. Deaths from preventable causes like infections and birth complications are all too common.
A baby’s chance of survival increases dramatically, however, with the presence of a skilled birth attendant. In rural areas, such as those where World Vision has focused its work, traditional birth attendants and midwives in particular are critical “frontline” health workers that help mothers and babies that can’t easily access a hospital.