Ever Newborn Action Plan

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The Every Newborn Action Plan was launched in Uganda this past week. SAFE feels honored to be a part of the global partnership striving for maternal and child survival! Read a short newsletter about the plan (and the conference in Kampala) included below, or check out an online version here.

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Every Newborn Action Plan

 

Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report

A new report entitled Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report came out two weeks ago and is the first of its kind. It provides global and regional estimates of preterm birth and illustrates how preterm birth is becoming an increasingly dire problem around the world, with highest rates occurring in sub-saharan Africa and South Asia. According to the report, after pneumonia, preterm birth is now the second leading cause of death for children under five, globally. Even for babies who survive preterm birth, there is a high chance that they will be permanently disabled, which adds an extra burden on to already struggling families.

The report is very informative regarding the problem, but it also suggests a plan of action and looks towards solutions, hopefully which, as the report outlines, will reduce infant deaths caused by preterm birth by 50% by the year 2025.

The goals to realize a solution include:

Prevention:

  • Preconception care package, including family planning (e.g. birth spacing and adolescent friendly services), education and nutrition especially for girls, and STI prevention
  • Antenatal care packages for all women, including screening for and management of STIs and targeted care of women at increased risk of preterm birth
  • Provide education to promote appropriate induction and cesarean 

Care of the preterm baby:

  • Essential and extra newborn care, especially feeding support
  • Neonatal resuscitation
  • Kangaroo Mother care
  • Management of premature babies with complications, especially respiratory distress syndrome and infection
  • Comprehensive neonatal intensive care, where capacity allows

It is wonderful to know that preterm birth is finally being acknowledged as a vitally important issue in need of address and action around the world, particularly in Africa. SAFE has already been working towards solutions of preterm birth, both immediate and longer term, particularly with regards to the antenatal care of preterm babies. As a result of the Light the Night solar panel project implementation, when emergency caesarean sections are required, many health centers around Uganda are now able to provide safer and more effective surgeries without fear of power loss. With this solar powered light, health workers can also provide better antenatal care to preterm infants and their mothers.

Furthermore, through educational sessions and community health fairs, SAFE empowers women’s and men’s groups to be more aware of important neonatal care issues such as good nutrition, sanitation, and immunizations.

SAFE’s motorcycle ambulance program also addresses the issue of surprise preterm labor and birth, by efficiently transporting pregnant mothers in labor to health centers, so that they may get the care, treatment, and maybe even surgery, they need.

Check out the full report by following this link:

http://www.who.int/pmnch/media/news/2012/preterm_birth_report/en/index.html

Support SAFE–2011 Holiday Gift Catalog!

Attention all Safe Mothers, Safe Babies supporters! Below, you’ll find our Holiday 2011 Gift Catalog. Please consider making a donation to SAFE in honor of a loved one. You can sponsor any project you like, after which you will be sent “honor cards” which you can give to your loved ones to show how your gift is empowering women and saving the lives of mothers and children. What a great way to celebrate the holidays!

SAFE Co-awarded Solar Grant!

It is our great pleasure to share that Safe Mothers, Safe Babies has been co-awarded a large grant with parter WE CARE Solar from the Segal Family Foundation for Light the Night. This will provide funding for SAFE to install a total of 20 WE CARE Solar Suitcases in Ugandan health facilities, and allow us to do participatory, demand-generating outreach in the catchment areas of several of those institutions. So excited, and full of gratitude for great partners and supporters!

SAFE Founder, Jacquie Cutts, and husband/SAFE Technology Director, Richard Cutts, will be flying to Uganda in December to implement the project. Check back for updates soon!

Attention Anyone Wanting Experience: Join SAFE!

Safe Mothers, Safe Babies is growing, and we’ve reached a point that we now need more people to join our team! We are currently accepting applications for the following positions:

  • Director of Research and Development: Researches the best practices in the field for each of SAFE’s projects and influences programming decisions based on that research. Also seeks to present SAFE’s experiences and lessons learned to shape other organization’s understanding of best practices.
  • Donor Relations Chair: Responsible for grant reporting and keeping in touch with SAFE’s donors. This includes follow-up after grant or donation dispersal as well as keeping an ongoing database of donors current.
  • Communications Manager: Responsible for generating content for the Safe Mothers, Safe Babies website, social media, blog, newsletter and annual report.
  • Media Relations Manager: Will develop and implement a strategic media relations plan.  This will include sending press releases and pitch letters to members of the media in both the United States and Uganda around key SAFE initiatives and events to generate positive coverage of SAFE’s work and promote maternal and newborn health initiatives more broadly.
  • Fundraising Team Members: Will plan and execute domestic fundraisers and education campaigns.

The requirements for volunteering: dedication to maternal and child health, appreciation of the participatory development approach (working WITH people instead of for them), ability to work well both independently and as part of a team, and a minimum of at least 2-4 hours per week (depending on position).

For more information on any of these positions, or information on volunteering with SAFE in Uganda, please email safemothers.safebabies@gmail.com, or visit www.safemotherssafebabies.org and click on “contact us.” 
Thank you!!
– The SAFE Team

Announcing Light the Night with Humless, Inc.

We are pleased to announce our partnership with Humless, Inc. on “Light the Night”–a project that will bring solar electricity to two rural health centers and the Iganga District Hospital Maternity Ward and Operating Theater. Humless, Inc. is a Utah-based solar company that developed highly efficient, lithium solar units. Bringing these units to Uganda will allow medical providers the light they need to provide adequate care; it will also help to increase the demand for services by strengthening public perception of the health centers. Finally, it will reduce deadly delays in cesarean sections (currently, they are sometimes done by flashlight or kerosene lantern). After a matching $5,000 grant from an anonymous donor, Humless is helping SAFE to fundraise the remaining money for the project. Please see video below to learn more about what we’re doing!

Thank You Do Something!!!

A special thanks to Do Something (dosomething.org) for our $500 Seed Grant! Safe Mothers, Safe Babies summer team from Jefferson Medical College implemented our Seed Grant working with women’s groups and development associations on safe motherhood initiatives. The project was a HUGE success, and accomplished:

  • Helped two new women’s groups form, all of which conduct safe motherhood activities and outreach.
  • Provided safe motherhood training to 7 groups.
  • Worked with 3 groups on developing high-quality safe motherhood and general health education dramas.
  • Provided organic farming training (which is how the groups sustain their activities) to 7 groups.
  • Provided organic passion fruit and sweet potato seeds to 3 groups.
  • Registered 5 groups with the sub-county.
  • Provided group management and business training to 7 groups.
  • Provided emergency neonatal resuscitation training to two health centers.

This project allowed us to reach more than 200 men and women with safe motherhood education, who are in turn educating more than 4,000 people in their communities. Each of three groups planting passion fruit and sweet potatoes will also strengthen the nutrition for at least 60 families; because the planting will be done organically (from the Do Something funded organic farming training), it will also overcome many fertility and health problems that local people have incurred after using pesticide improperly. Webale inho Do Something!!

Shallow Well Hand-Over

Safe Mothers, Safe Babies is pleased to share the official hand-over of the shallow wells funded by the Rotary International Grant. A special thanks to our Rotary partners in Rotary Districts #7210 and #9200.

Photo Credit: Katherine Meese

SAFE Board Member, Erin Glueckert, and Program Manager, Mohamed Mukalu (Medie), at the official hand-over event with representatives of Rotary International–our awesome funders!
Nothing sweeter than clean water!