Immunizations: Building Blocks for a Better Tomorrow
32-year-old Fadumo Mohamed is from Lower Shabelle, a region in southern Somalia, not far from the capital Mogadishu. Named...
International Medical Corps works with communities and local health authorities to improve the health of expectant women by offering safe motherhood services that include antenatal care, safe delivery by skilled birth attendants, quality care for obstetric and newborn emergencies, post-natal care and family planning that stresses healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies. Furthermore, International Medical Corps contributes to better health outcomes and reduction of common childhood illnesses and deaths through our programs that include vaccinations against communicable diseases, growth monitoring, early childhood development interventions and community-based case management of common childhood illnesses. (More detail of our Early Childhood Development work is available here.) Many of our programs are designed to include the youth, since young boys and girls in their adolescence have special health related needs.
In times of crisis, when the traditional social codes protecting women can easily break down, women, adolescent girls and young children become more vulnerable to abuse, rape or sexual exploitation. We offer culturally appropriate services for gender-based violence and work to reduce forms of violence rooted in gender discrimination. We also provide medical interventions for survivors of rape.
During emergency, protracted crisis, early recovery or development, International Medical Corps provides and/or supports a wide range of services to reduce maternal and newborn illnesses and deaths. These services include:
Children depend on their families and their communities for well-being in all aspects of their lives—a reality that makes the health of children in every society a good proxy indicator for a functioning health care system that caters to all.
Globally, there has been progress in reducing the number of children who die before their 5th birthday. Despite this progress, the Millennium Development Goal target for reducing child deaths was not met by the 2015 target date, underscoring the need to do more to achieve this goal. In the majority of cases under-5 child deaths are due to diseases that are preventable or treatable using proven, affordable and cost-effective methods.
International Medical Corps works at the community level to support the sustainable delivery of proven child health practices such immunizations, growth monitoring, nutrition services, consultations for common diseases and integrated community-based case management of common childhood illnesses.
Gender-based violence is a pervasive public health and human rights problem, affecting the physical and psychological health of survivors, as well as the health and well-being of families and communities. Women and girls are particularly vulnerable to violence in emergency settings, when risks are compounded at the very time when support systems are interrupted. International Medical Corps works with communities to address these risks and to combat beliefs and practices that perpetuate violence against women and girls. International Medical Corps is also a leading agency in the delivery of quality, focused support services for survivors of gender-based violence. We tailor support services to different cultures and contexts, helping survivors to recover from traumatic experiences and safely reintegrate into communities.
Because they are often the most vulnerable in times of crisis, International Medical Corps works tirelessly to save the lives of mothers and children living in the midst of war, disaster and outbreaks of disease. Every year, an estimated 300,000 women and 3 million newborns die from complications during pregnancy, childbirth or other neonatal causes. More than 90% of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and most could be prevented with low-tech, low-cost care in the form of a skilled midwife—a profession that is tragically under-represented across the world.
To help fill a massive global gap in maternal healthcare, International Medical Corps runs robust midwife training programs in counties that have the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, including South Sudan, Afghanistan and the Central African Republic.
I rubbed a lot of bellies last week, had a lot of hugs, did a lot of newborn cuddling. My kind of week – but with a very moving twist. Because it happened in Sierra Leone. This beautiful West African nation has suffered terribly over recent years – first through a brutal decade-long civil war, then through the Ebola crisis, which left thousands dead and countless children orphaned.READ MORE