In Bangladesh, 5,200 maternal deaths occur annually- which is 8% of the total deaths among women of reproductive age. Many women experience acute complications during pregnancy and childbirth and those who survive suffer from illnesses and disabilities, such as anemia, obstetric fistula, uterine rupture, genital/uterine prolapse and infertility. Overall, for every maternal death approximately 40 women suffer obstetric complications - which are largely preventable with skilled care. This is especially an issue in the remote regions where it can take women several days to walk or travel to the nearest health clinic.
Bangladesh is making a big effort to train more Midwives, but the Midwives after training are typically placed in urban or regional areas, leaving the remote Indigenous villages in the Chittagong Hill Tracts with a serious scarcity of skilled birth attendants and Midwives to support maternal health and avoid injury or disability from complications during pregnancy.
We are supporting Immanuel Mohila Kolyan Somity (IMS), an Indigenous women's organization in Bangladesh, to train and resource Village Health Workers (VHWs) who already live in remote villages to bridge the gap in poor access to skilled birth attendants.
Trained VHWs will reduce the likelihood of the complications becoming life threating or debilitating by detecting common complications during pregnancy and promoting the uptake of maternal and newborn health care behaviour and services.
We need $2,500 AUD (approximately $2000 USD) to train and resource 10 Village Health Workers in the Bandarban District of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Each training will cost $250AUD (approx. $200 USD) per participant.
Your support will provide each Village Health Worker with a 10-day certified training, transportation to training from the remote villages to the local district, food, accommodation and training facility and resources. All extra funds raised will be used to purchase safe delivery kits for the health workers to support sanitary practices for the many women who choose to deliver at home. The use of safe delivery kits has been associated with reduced infection and maternal mortality in developing areas.
Fulcrum Aid is a non-profit, relief and development organisation committed to resourcing local leaders within communities experiencing poverty and extreme inequality. I am volunteering with Fulcrum Aid to support the training of Village Health Workers in the remote areas of Bangaldesh.