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Maternal and infant health care

Why it matters

A mother from Tanzania holds her healthy baby.

The most valuable gift in life.

Every day, 800 women around the world die from complications arising from pregnancy and childbirth, which is the leading cause of death among teenage girls in developing countries.

At the same time, a staggering 6.6 million children die every year before they reach their fifth birthday – if not during birth or shortly after, then from causes like pneumonia, measles, and diarrhea.

Most of these deaths take place among the world’s poorest people – and the vast majority of them are preventable.

Thanks to your generosity, we are investing in a wide range of community-based programs designed to protect the health of mothers and their children.

What we’ve done (so far)

Thanks to your support, we’ve been able to invest in sustainable local programs offering essential health and support services to mothers, infants and children in over 2,700 communities across seven countries.

Together, we’ve reached:

  • More than 250,000 women with pre-natal and post-natal care, tetanus vaccinations, and births attended by skilled health personnel
  • More than 640,000 infants and children with vaccinations, treatment for diarrhea, de-worming medication and vitamin A
  • More than 1,200 clinic personnel and 61,000 community health workers with training in maternal and child health
  • Nearly 700,000 community members who have participated in local awareness-raising sessions on maternal and child health.

Based on results from five countries so far, in just one year we’ve seen measureable improvements in the numbers of:

  • Women who received care from a skilled health provider at least four times during pregnancy (up from 46% to 63%)
  • Mothers and babies who received postnatal care within 3 days of birth (up from 39% to 55%)
  • Children vaccinated against measles (up from 41% to 66%).

These are all great signs of health improvements for mothers and babies, and with sustainable programs in place, they’ll continue to happen year over year, thanks to donors like you.

Who we’re helping

Comfort is one of tens of thousands of young women who have benefited from new maternal health services in her community, thanks to investments made through the Because I am a Girl project. Her personal letter of thanks to the Plan-supported program and local volunteers who made sure she got to the hospital when it mattered provides a touching glimpse into the impact these programs are having on the lives of women, children and families.

ANC=antenatal or pre-natal care, TBA=traditional birth attendant, and WATCH=women and their children’s health project

Return to the Because I am a girl project