Training local health workers is critical to addressing urgent, global health challenges such as maternal mortality.
Every year, an estimated 300,000 women and 3 million newborns die from complications during pregnancy, childbirth or other neonatal causes. 92% of global maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths occur in low- and middle-income countries, where it can be hard to find a health services—only 42% of the world’s medical midwifery and nursing personnel is available to women and newborn infants in these countries.
For example, in Afghanistan, where about 1 out of every 62 mothers dies during birth or because of related complications, having a skilled birth attendant or midwife in a community can be a matter of life or death. Yet for large parts of the population who live in rural areas, access to appropriate and affordable medical care is often non-existent. That’s why International Medical Corps has have trained more than 2,000 midwives in the country since 2007. Each Afghan midwife like this one can provide up to 330 women from her own community with maternal health care. That’s 660,000 women reached, every year—which is FAR more than we could reach alone.
All across the world, we train community members to become their own first responders—and strengthen communities. We especially focus on training frontline health workers, as they represent a lifeline for their communities. It is through such training that we are able to create our most lasting impact and sustain the programs we start long after we have departed.