Dear HOPE Friends,
* Pakistan's Maternal Mortality Rate accounts for 28 percent of the global total - this means that every 37 minutes, one expectant mother in Pakistan dies giving birth.
* Pakistan's Infant Mortality Rate is the highest in the world - infants here face a 1 in 22 chance of dying within a month of birth.
* The good news is that 80 percent of infant deaths and 33 percent of maternal deaths in Pakistan are preventable.
Statistics like these serve to highlight how critical timely intervention is for saving the lives of women and infants. Often at the forefront of this battle are community obstetrician-gynecologists. Community obstetrician-gynecologists are field doctors who spend almost 50 percent of their time counseling expectant mothers in rural areas and urban slums (where factors which give rise to maternal and infant mortality abound) to prevent pregnancy and labor complications. A typical representation of complicated cases includes: abortions, miscarriage, hemorrhaging during pregnancy, preeclampsia, vesicourethral fistula, obstructed labor, ruptured uterus, and even maternal death.
HOPE's head obstetrician-gynecologist, Dr. Rehana Ahmed, begins her day at one of five of HOPE's Maternal & Child Health clinics. She handles a caseload of over 40 cases per day which include prenatal appointments, ultrasound scans, family planning, and other gynecological issues. Following this shift, Dr. Rehana rushes to a HOPE secondary Hospital where she manages complicated cases such as cesarean sections, dilation and curettage, and emergency hemorrhages. And lastly, Dr. Rehana also oversees HOPE's Mobile Health Units, a network of doctors who visit 20 villages on a rotating basis where impoverished women and children are not able to travel to access healthcare.
A combination of community intervention and hospital expertise is paramount to reducing maternal and infant mortality. As a community obstetrician-gynecologist, Dr. Rehana interacts directly with women in rural and urban areas at the primary health care level to prevent obstetrical issues and provide counseling. Concurrently, she works at the hospital level to provide necessary interventions and care for mothers and newborns. Cultural barriers to change that are prevalent within Pakistan include: husbands who are apathetic to the health of their wives, mother in laws who readily interfere with their daughter in laws' obstetrical health, overall reluctancy of the family to allow a hospital-based birth, resistance to family planning methods, and very young mothers whose health suffers due to back-to-back pregnancies.
Please visit our Zakat-eligible Global Giving campaign to learn more about what HOPE USA is doing to Save Maternal and Infant Lives in Pakistan:
For just $10 you can sponsor three essential prenatal visits for an expectant mother.
For just $50 you can pay for a blood transfusion for a bleeding mother.
For just $100 you can support the cost of a normal delivery.
For just $200 you can sponsor the cost of a cesarean section delivery.
Change begins with baby steps! Never underestimate the impact your donation will make!
Director - HOPE North America & Europe