Empowering mums with health education knowledge
Over 800 mums and 1,800 young children die every day from largely preventable diseases*. Yet survival rates can be increased through simple health education – basic steps can be taken by families to prevent malaria, diarrhoea and malnutrition. Providing support by sharing health education, nutrition and sanitation advice is part of Mothers’ Union’s grassroots community work in many developing countries of the world.
Last year we helped over 11,600 women receive health education in community groups and thousands more learned about hygiene, nutrition, family planning and disease prevention through our parenting and our literacy community groups. We teach simple hygiene measures such as washing hands, drying dishes on racks away from dirty floors and animals, and using mosquito nets when pregnant or with children under five. In Zambia, for example, Mothers’ Union trained over 100 birth attendants to advise pregnant women on malaria prevention in order to reduce rates of maternal and infant mortality. Mothers’ Union mobilised the community to work with the local authorities to clear mosquito breeding sites. They encouraged people to be tested for malaria and educated those affected in the importance of completing treatment. Working with World Vision we carried out training and distributed mosquito nets to the community in 10 districts, reaching over 300,000 people.
Churches and groups like Mothers’ Union are making a tangible difference. Research* suggests that places of worship in Uganda, such as the community mobilisation groups run by Mothers’ Union and the Anglican Church, have promoted family health, raised awareness of preventable diseases and reduced occurrence. Kampala, where Mothers’ Union runs parenting groups, now has one of the fastest declines in child-mortality rates of anywhere in the world, despite an influx of refugees and a rising birth rate.
In situations where civil conflict has weakened or destroyed the infrastructure has destroyed resources and displaced thousands of people healing has become the work of the church. For example in DR Congo Mothers’ Union supports the women within the church providing advice, counselling and medical support.
Mothers’ Union is helping mothers overcome disadvantage, deprivation and discrimination in 83 countries of the world. Please support our ethical giving Make a Mother’s Day campaign and give what you can to help us transform the lives of mums, and their families.
*State of the World’s Mothers Report: Save the Children 2015