Imagine you're nine months pregnant and your contractions have just started. You pick up your bag and head out the door and onto the road. It's getting dark and you're facing a walk of up to eight hours, alone and through an environment that is considerably less than safe. You have a one in twenty-four chance of not surviving this experience.
What if you weren't pregnant, but instead facing this journey with your seriously ill baby? Would that be any better?
This is the situation that women in Liberia face every day with only a third of the female population living within reach of a health clinic. Of that lucky minority, 60% are over an hour's walk away with some living as far as eight!
Can you imagine living eight hours from help? I don't even live eight minutes from my local hospital...
Because of this, only 34% of women give birth at a medical facility with only 64 healthcare workers covering a population of 120,000 people (that's about one person with medical training per 10,000 people)!
It's this that, along with Save the Children, three midwives from the popular Channel 4 show 'One Born Every Minute' witnessed on a recent trip to Liberia to learn about what the charity is doing to help this situation. Louise Holt, Maude Hardy and Gemma Raby visited Save the Children-supported maternity clinics and hospitals where they met midwives, pregnant women and new mothers and learned of their plight. You can read all about their trip here.
There is still lots more to be done and Save the Children want to raise enough money to open a further six clinics in Liberia which they anticipate will annually achieve...
- 13,730 more babies receiving vital care within the first few weeks of life.
- 750 more women being assisted by skilled professionals to give birth in a clean and safe environment.
- 1,950 under-fives having access to medical help when ill.
- 7,300 adolescents and 10,600 women of child-bearing age will be able to access family planning and sexual health services.
- 40,300 getting vital information on staying healthy.
The goal is £500,000 to build and equip the six new clinics, so far, they're slightly over halfway there which is fantastic news though there's still some way to go! Save the Children are looking for your support to reach their goal and so I'd like to invite you to take a look at the Build it for Babies site, read Zinnah's story and help in any way if you can. There's also a nifty little application on the page where you input your postcode and it shows you where you'd be walking to if life in the UK was like this...mine took me halfway into Kent!
This week Mothercare have also launched a fantastically cute range called 'Born To' in support of Save the Children where £1 from every item is donated to the charity. Fashionable and philanthropic, I don't think there's anything better!
I'll finish here by saying that as the mother of a toddler and expecting my second any day now, I can't honestly think of much else that would terrify me, to be so far from help should my children need it. To face giving birth to my son by the side of the road and risk losing him to infection or the cold; the road is no place to give birth.
Please note this is not a sponsored post but a voluntary piece written in support of the #Builditforbabies campaign.
Labels: #builditforbabies, Build it for babies, Charity, save the children