Why even set our plans?

Liberia is one of the most challenged countries in the world in terms of women’s access to reproductive health. Fewer than half of all births there (41%) are attended to by medical health workers. Of every 100,000 Women who give birth, 770 die (New Democrat, Monrovia, 19 July 2013)in 2013, Deputy Minister Yah M. Zolia, Planning and Research, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) reported that every day in Liberia, approximately 1000 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy in childbirth — that is ~ 350,000 deaths per year.

To put these statistics in context, a child born in Liberia is 220 times more likely to die during its first day than one born in a first world country such as Italy ranking in the lead with a 3.9 MMR (2014 Poll). That number has been rising every year in Liberia since 1980 reaching now 858.9 Compared to Canada at 6.6 and US at 18.5 out of 100,000 women based on a 2014 Poll.  Ranking Liberia in the bottom 10 countries in the world with the highest Maternal Mortality Rates.

With little access to education and contraceptives in Liberia, younger and younger women are giving birth, who have no knowledge about how to take care for themselves or their babies. They don’t know what to eat during pregnancy in order to be healthy; They don’t know what to feed their babies after they are born. The majority are adolescents, who already face a much higher risk of complications and death during pregnancy and birth, who are also unequipped, after birth, to know how to care for their babies.

Some Examples

Consider for example the case of 20 year old, Ma-Kulah Turray, a young woman who reflects so many of Liberia’s Youths. In grade seven, she gave birth to a son. Not knowing what to feed him, she offered him dry rice and water for the first few months of his life. As a result, he became malnourished and almost died, before Turray brought him to a hospital for treatment.

Unfortunately this situation is not uncommon. In Liberia, malnutrition is among the leading causes of infant deaths. (Mason. CMAJ. 2/1/2015). Furthermore, 40% of Liberian children under the age of five suffer from stunting as a result of malnutrition. (Unicef 2/1/2015) Other factors reflected in the high maternal mortality rates in Liberia, include hemorrhaging, blood clots, infections, unsafe abortions, and obstructed labour. The women who have died from these complications (that are completely avoidable) count in the millions.

UNICEF Research

According to Unicef, Liberia ranks as one of the top 5 countries for highest mortality rates in children (lbid, Unicef 2/1/2015). In 2011, the World Health Organization reported that 27% of babies die at birth; 15% die before they reach one year of age, and in 2012 out 150,000 births 11,000 children died before they reached the age of 5 years old. Added to these devastating statistics, survey data from the Overseas Development Institute from a 2013 report, that rape remains one of the most frequently reported crimes in Liberia.

(Liberia’s Ministry of Gender and Development), and the incidence of sexual violence against women in Liberia is among the highest in the world (26 % of Women and girls have reported having been raped by a stranger, and 73 % of married women have been sexually assaulted by their husbands; The majority of rapes are experienced by girls aged 10 to 19) In Liberia, abortion is illegal, which complicates the issue even further, forcing women who become pregnant as a result of rape, to take their circumstances (which include being shunned by family and society, physical and psychological trauma…) into their own hands, or seek “back-alley abortions” — which often result in hemorrhaging, infection, infertility and death.

These issues can be addressed through education, medical intervention, counseling, and contraceptives — all of which are addressed through our mandate.

This is where you make a difference

With your help, we can succeed to reduce these numbers in Liberia. If we deliver 8 women daily, 240 days out of 365 a year, this yields to saving 2880 yearly in a single clinic. With our pregnancy and birth program established, we can combat maternal neonatal mortality and morbidity.

Little donations can go a long way as you can see from the numbers above, you can make a difference today. 

Please visit our “Donate” page if you are ready to make a money donation, and if you prefer to send an E-transfer money wiring, you could always do so by following the steps on our “E-Transfer” Page. 

For any questions you may have, even to just saying hello, please don’t hesitate to send us an Email at: info@ICareForMoms.com

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