Improving maternal health needs in Myanmar

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Creating a Community Health “Corner” and Providing Support for Birthing Mothers

posted March 19, 2014 by Isabel Garcia
 
As we last shared with you, shortly after the Daw Pon Maternity Home was fully funded a generous contribution from a local donor provided the funds to repair the maternity home’s water tank. With the need for the repairs taken care of, the maternity home engaged in discussions with partners on the ground on how best to reallocate those funds. They found that the immediate needs of the community would best be served by the creation of a community health education “Corner” which would provide accurate reproductive health and nutrition information. They also found a great need for assistance for the cost of referrals and nutritional support for birthing mothers. This will supply the cost of transportation to referral visits and pre-natal vitamins during their stay at the home. They will also invest in training their staff in mobilizing resources and recruitment to engage the community and local partners in the further development of the home. By providing these interventions, they hope to make the greatest impact for the community and be able to raise additional funds for the construction of the extension of the postnatal care wing. 
 
We wanted to share the revised budget with you:
 
Line Items  Original budget   Revised budget 
Staff and Administration Costs  $               -    $9,600.00  
Cost  of water tank repairs  $10,700.00  $                  -  
Referral cost for complicated cases  $16,100.00  $                  -  
Procurement of Equipment and Supplies  $32,100.00  $29,300.00  
Distribution cost  $   3,200.00     $1,500.00  
IEC Materials for Health Education  $   5,400.00     $2,500.00  
Development of Community Mobilization Tools   $               -          $2,000.00  
Advocacy and Coordinating Meetings  $               -             $500.00  
staff and volunteer capacity building trainings   $   5,400.00      $3,680.00  
Community outreach mobile services  $               -        $3,820.00  
Client support for referral costs  $               -       $10,000.00  
Client support for prenatal nutritional care   $               -          $5,500.00  
Space for communal health education)  $               -         $4,500.00  
Monitoring and Evaluating   $   2,100.00        $2,100.00 

 

New beds will provide life saving postnatal care at Daw Pon

posted Nov 13, 2013 by Isabel Garcia

You provided the funding that is making it possible for UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, to change thousands of lives in the Yangon Region of Myanmar – the lives of pregnant women, their children, families and community members. We are delighted to inform you that the Daw Pon maternity home received the funds in August. As you may remember, the project was initially approved with $10,700 of the budget towards repairs to the maternity home’s water tank. Shortly before Daw Pon received your support, a local donor contributed the funds to repair the water tank. The tank was repaired and is now fully operational. All of the remaining activities identified in the original proposal are on track to be implemented between December, 2013 and July, 2014.

Risks and challenges

One of the greatest challenges the home faces, is a shortage of space for postnatal care. The current postnatal room, with 7 beds, is often crowded. To give more mothers access to life-saving care, UNFPA, in consultation with the Myanmar Maternal and Child Welfare Association (MMCWA), will allocate the funds for the water tank toward the construction of an extension to the postnatal care wing of the maternity home.

Postnatal care can mean the difference between life and death for both mother and child. Health care workers at Daw Pon will be able to better assess the condition of more mothers after childbirth and identify hemorrhage, hypertension, infection and other life-threatening conditions that may require urgent medical attention.

Get personal

With your support, the new wing will be furnished and equipped to accommodate an additional 15 patients. The construction is scheduled to break ground in December, with completion in February, 2014. Supplies, medicine and equipment ranging from wheelchairs to delivery beds are in the process of procurement and will be delivered before the wing is open.

Next steps

In partnership with the Yangon Region Health Department, UNFPA is in the process of hiring two trainers who will conduct a five-day technical training for 30 hospital volunteers to become community health mobilizers. With this training, they will be able to better identify and treat life-threatening complications and share information with mothers regarding infant care and family planning. The maternity home’s midwives will participate in a two-day training/ skills building class.

More information

We hope you share our great pride in the difference your contribution is making. We look forward to reporting on further progress early in the New Year. In the meantime, UNFPA will continue to work closely with the Myanmar Maternal and Child Welfare Association to ensure that no woman dies while giving life. When women survive, communities and families thrive.

 

  • Health
  • Maternal health
  • Reproductive rights

 

Daw Pon maternity home in Myanmar is expanding and needs new equipment, beds and a water tank.

Why we care: Maternal deaths in Myanmar, long an impoverished and primarily rural country, are high: 200 for every 100,000 live births.

How we're solving this: By offering maternal health services and counseling, health education and child-development guidance.

Nu Nu Lwin, 32, arrived at the maternity home in Daw Pon Township in the Yangon region of Myanmar bleeding after a minor injury. She had already received medical care at the Maternal and Child Welfare Association maternity home for prenatal counseling. After the accident, she consulted with a midwife and was sent immediately to East Yangon Hospital, accompanied by the midwife and an outreach coordinator and her expenses covered.

The hospital provided her proper care, saving her life and the baby’s, thanks to the foresight of the maternity home, which is an active partner of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, providing not only care for mothers but also for newborns and  early childhood development programs to reduce maternal and infant deaths. The maternity home also referred Nu Nu Lwin to another essential treatment -- for HIV -- and eventually contraceptives. Her fees for these services were also covered by the maternity home.

The Daw Pon maternity home opened in 2002 and is a two-story building, offering maternity services downstairs and counseling, health education and child-development guidance upstairs. It is a strong model for improving maternal and child health. Maternal deaths in Myanmar, long an impoverished and primarily rural country, are high: 200 for every 100,000 live births. Fewer than half the women of reproductive age or their partners are using contraceptives, so high fertility rates abound.

The maternity home currently provides antenatal care to an average of 65 new patients each month and 180 existing patients. The staff provides assistance for approximately 60 normal deliveries per month and refers about 5 cases of complicated pregnancies to public hospitals. In addition, the maternity home provide family planning and birth spacing services including IUCD insertion.

Improving maternal health is widely accepted as a path to ending poverty, but it is generally an area that is underfinanced in poor countries. Myanmar has far too many women like Nu Nu Lwin at risk. In Daw Pon, women need counseling at all stages of their pregnancy and post-pregnancy, including information on how to prevent diseases, birth-spacing education, HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health. The Myanmar Health Ministry and the Maternal and Child Welfare Association aim to provide such services through the maternity homes in urban and rural settings, but UNFPA helps fill the gaps at Daw Pon.

To increase support at Daw Pon, UNFPA needs $75,000 to continue to help the maternity home save lives and enable families to thrive. Specifically, Daw Pon requires some new equipment and reproductive health commodities, two delivery beds, minor repairs, a new water tank, a budget to pay referral fees and more training for the staff and volunteers.

All women deserve the best care in pregnancy and afterward, as do their newborns and children. By helping to improve the lives of women in Myanmar, you are saving others, too, offering optimal chances for survival like this mother at Daw Pon, who just gave birth to a health boy on Sept. 10, 2012.

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