Category Archives: Reproductive Health

Residents in Southern Haiti Receive New Access to Quality Health Care

Several vistors wait to be seen at new hospital (1)During my visit to Haiti two years ago I had the privilege of visiting two hospitals: L’Hôpital Albert Schweitzer (HAS) in Haiti’s Artibonite Valley and L’Hôpital Sainte-Thérèse in Hinche, Haiti. Many of the patients at both hospitals, I learned, walked or took public transport over long distances for quality hospital care. As the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haitians need many more hospitals and health workers to care after their sick. There are currently only six health workers for every 10,000 Haitians according to USAID. And, Haiti has the highest rate of infant, child, and maternal mortality in the Western Hemisphere. Most Haitians live on less than $1 a day and their life expectancy is only 64 compared to 74 for its neighbor, the Dominican Republic.

Quality health care in Haiti continues to be one of the country’s greatest problems. In fact, Haiti only spends 6 percent of its expenditures on health care and relies heavily on international funding.

Continue reading Residents in Southern Haiti Receive New Access to Quality Health Care

8 Simple Ways to Provide Free Menstrual Products to Girls and Women in Need (Updated)

Every 28 days, millions of girls and women in developing countries miss school or work – up to 50 days per year – because they lack access to affordable menstrual products. And, it’s not just a problem in poor countries. Right here in the United States, women and girls who lack means often need both menstrual health education and reusable menstrual products.

The eight companies and organizations provide menstrual products in the United States and in Africa. Here are ways you can help them on their missions to provide women and girls with products that simply make their lives easier.

Continue reading 8 Simple Ways to Provide Free Menstrual Products to Girls and Women in Need (Updated)

Midwives and The Right of Women to Give Birth the Way They Want

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Lydia Mwanzia, Moi University

Giving birth is a significant life event that should aim for a healthy baby and mother. There are growing calls for women to give birth in their preferred birth positions. But this requires midwives to be trained in a way that enables them to respect the choices that women make. The Conversation Africa’s health editor Joy Wanja Muraya asked Lydia Mwanzia to explain why women have the right to make choices, and the important role played by midwives.

Continue reading Midwives and The Right of Women to Give Birth the Way They Want

Video: The Global Gag Rule Explained

More than likely you have heard about the Global Gag Rule also known as the Mexico City Policy this week. You can learn more about it in a previous post: Why the Global Gag Rule Will Increase Maternal Mortality.

To get right to the point, however, Planned Parenthood released this video: What is the Global Gag Rule that explains it succinctly.

8 Organizations and Birth Centers That Save Black Mothers’ Lives #MaternalHealth (Updated)

Updated March 2019

Today as we celebrate and commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, here are seven organizations and birth centers that are helping save the lives of black women during pregnancy, childbirth and after childbirth.

All maternal mortality and morbidity data in the United States report the same thing: black women die in disproportionately high numbers when compared to non-Hispanic white women. In fact, black women are four times more likely to die during or after childbirth than white women. One of the biggest statistics is black women — no matter socioeconomic status, education, lifestyle and access to health care — still die in larger numbers from maternal health complications.

The United States is the only developed country where the maternal mortality rate is increasing. Black women bear the largest brunt of this increase as they succumb to maternal health complications in the largest numbers.  National organizations and regional birth centers have emerged to save more black mothers’ lives, especially in a climate where the most money is spent on health care than any other country in the world and more and more black women still are dying.

Support and follow these organizations and birth centers that are supporting women’s reproductive health. Leave a comment if you own or know of an organization that should be added to this list.

Ancient Song Doula Services (www.ancientsongdoulaservices.com): Full Spectrum evidence-based doula care organization focused on the doula as preventative care in underserved communities.

Black Mamas Matter (www.blackmamasmatter.org):  Advancing the human right to safe and respectful maternal health care.

Black Women Health Imperative (http://www.bwhi.org):  We are Black Women’s Health Imperative – the only national nonprofit dedicated to the physical, emotional & financial health & wellness of Black women & girls.

Black Women Justice Mission (blackwomenjusticemission.com): A collective of African-American, African, Caribbean and multi-racial women committed to transforming the birthing experiences for Black women.

Commonsense Childbirth (www.commonsensechildbirth.org): Jennie Joseph and Commonsense Childbirth Inc. are building a network of support to transform maternity care in the US. Be a part of the movement for change!

Jamaa Birth Village (www.jamaasnewhome.org): Jamaa Birth Village is located in Ferguson and for the last three years has implemented Midwifery and Doula based care that has been proven to eliminate disparities that are contributing to the rising rates of infant-maternal mortality and prematurity in black communities. Jamaa Birth Village recently received at 125k building donation from a Ferguson physician to expand its care and we want to spread the word about this grassroots change that is happening. Jamaa Birth Village is also Black woman founded and led.  Added August 2018.

Mamatoto Village (www.mamatotovillage.org): Creating career pathways for WOC & empowering them with the tools to make informed decisions & choices in their maternity care, parenting, & lives. Added March 2019.

National Birth Equity Collaborative (birthequity.org): NBEC aims to reduce Black maternal and infant mortality through research, family-centered collaboration, and advocacy.

SisterSong (sistersong.net): Southern Based – National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective

Notable Articles and Health Series on Black Maternal Health 

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