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CARE’s Maternal Health Blog
Posted by: Staci Dixon at 4:49PM EST on January 10, 2012
Giulia McPherson is traveling in Liberia and Ghana on a CARE Learning Tour, a comprehensive, multi-day tour for policymakers and those who can influence policy, to gain firsthand knowledge of the core issues poor communities face. She is the Deputy Director for Citizen Advocacy with CARE USA’s Policy and Advocacy Unit. To learn more about the Learning Tours program, please visit: www.care.org/learningtours.
The country of Liberia is building itself back from more than two decades of political instability, including a 14-year civil war that ended in 2003 and cost the lives of more than 200,000 people. The war destroyed most of Liberia’s basic infrastructure, making it nearly impossible for Liberians to grow their own crops. As a result, chronic malnutrition is a tremendous impediment to the country’s development – in fact, an estimated 35 percent of Liberians are malnourished and 39 percent of children under five years old are stunted.
On CARE’s latest Learning Tour, we’re exploring the critical 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday. It is during this period that malnutrition poses the greatest threat to the long-term health of mothers and children, affecting the economic development of families, communities and entire nations. If we can address poor nutrition and its causes, including the ability of families to feed themselves a proper, balanced diet, then we can make tremendous strides in breaking the cycle of poverty.
[photo of women in the fields; Rep. Marino with program participants]
The second is a Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA), which CARE coordinates on the outskirts of Monrovia in an area called “Peace Island.” The inhabitants of this community are primarily individuals displaced by the war, including former combatants. Since CARE first introduced VSLA’s to this community in 2010, over 72 groups have been formed, comprised of 1,700 participants. Over 80 percent of the participants are women and the groups have generated $60,000 USD in loans.
[photo of Jimama speaking during VSLA meeting]
[photo of Sata Benjamin, VSLA Chairwoman, in front of her store]
The delegation concluded its first day by taking part in a special meeting with 2011 Nobel Laureate, Leymah Gbowee. Ms. Gbowee was awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, alongside Liberia’s President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Tawakkol Karman of Yemen. She launched a peace movement led by women, which helped end Liberia’s civil war. She continues to work on behalf of human rights in her country as coordinator of Liberia’s National Reconciliation Initiative. She noted during her remarks that, “as leaders, we must reignite the culture of hope to address the challenges that still face our country and its people.”
[photo of Leymah Gbowee with Rep. Bobby Rush]
Posted by: Katherine Porter at 2:46PM EST on September 10, 2010
If you want to meet a rock start obstetrician/gynecologist (ob/gyn) in Ethiopia, you must visit Dil Chora Hospital in Hades where Dr. Munir Kassa saves pregnant women and their newborns on a daily basis. Dil Chora Hospital serves the West Hararghe region and has three ob/gyns on staff. Dr. Munir is often the last hope for rural women facing prolonged labor and pregnancy complications. He performed 14 cesareans last week. One woman had a ruptured uterus and tragically lost the baby. He saved her life.... (more)