Maternal and Child Health

We are focused on four key areas:

1. Birth Injury Repair

Childbirth injury is largely neglected, despite the devastating impact it has on the lives of affected girls and women who live with fistula or prolapse. Injury is usually caused by prolonged, obstructed labour, without timely medical intervention, multiple births, not enough spacing between births and poor nutrition. An estimated 2 million women in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Arab region, and Latin America and the Caribbean are living with fistula and some 50,000 to 100,000 new cases develop each year. A fistula is almost entirely preventable.

In Bangladesh, there is a large population and a high incidence of uterine prolapse. There may be as many as 600,000 women who are suffering the debilitating effects of this condition, which receives little focus or attention by international aid agencies.

Surgical correction of these conditions provides great benefits. Women can resume normal life without the suffering and social stigma.

We work with Impact Foundation Bangladesh providing training to 11 doctors and surgical correction to over 2,000 women a year. We also work with other partners in Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi to provide free access to fistula and prolapse surgery treatment.

2. Family Planning

Most maternal deaths are preventable and the 2014 UN report on MDGs states, “there must be a concerted effort to ensure universal access to both skilled antenatal care and effective interventions, enhanced to include access to family planning, and information and services for reproductive health, especially in vulnerable populations.” Enabling women to make informed decisions about whether and when to have children reduces unintended pregnancies as well as maternal and newborn deaths. It also increases educational and economic opportunities for women and leads to healthier families and communities. However, more than 220 million women in developing countries who don’t want to get pregnant lack access to contraceptives and voluntary family planning information and services.

We work with our partners Marie Stopes and Spacim Pikinini in PNG to provide insertion of a 4 year sub dermal contraceptive implant to women who are keen to plan their families, in the post-natal wards of two general hospitals and on several islands of PNG. We also support implants in Kenya, Uganda and Congo.

3. Maternal & Obstetric Services

Women throughout developing countries bear a massive burden of death and disability due to pregnancy and childbirth-related complications. A key strategy to reducing this toll is to strengthen the capacity of health care systems by providing high quality maternity care.

We support our partners with programmes that focus on local capacity building in the form of providing trainers to support and mentor local health workers at partnering facilities.

4. Paediatric Care

We provide support to our partners to assist children living with surgically correctable deformities such club foot, cleft palates, burn contractures and ENT issues. This leads to vastly improved life outcomes for these children who can go on to becoming contributing adults in their communities.

For more information please contact info@dak.org.au