Saving babies in the first month of life.
The Leyaata Project is reducing maternal and infant death in two main ways:
(1) By improving community-based care for new mothers and infants; and
(2) By preventing malaria among mothers and children.
Community-Based Care for Mothers and Infants
GRID and NEA have trained 84 volunteer community health workers to visit mothers twice before childbirth and infants three times in the first week of life. Before birth, the health worker encourages parents to plan for assisted childbirth at a local clinic. After birth, the volunteer monitors the infant and refers any baby that is feverish or not thriving to the nearest clinic.
The results have been dramatic: the number of babies dying in the first month of life has dropped by over two-thirds.
In addition, thirty-three local birth attendants have participated in the Helping Babies Breathe Program, facilitated by Dr. Jennifer Wilson and Susan Fockler.
Medical workers are enthusiastic and asking for more training. Within the first six months of the training, health workers successfully resuscitated 72 out of 74 infants who weren’t breathing at birth. (Prior to training, they would have simply been regarded as stillborn.)
Malaria is the number one cause of death in the region, and the best way to prevent malaria is sleeping under a mosquito net. GRID and NEA are installing treated nets for all pregnant and new mothers in the target region. We are providing education about malaria and the importance of using nets.
The Leyaata Project has a budget of $845,000 over three years. CIDA (now DFATD) will contribute 75% of that amount. This means that GRID needs to raise $211,000 from Canadian donors to reach the full budget and funding amount.
You can donate to this project online or by sending a cheque to GRID.