As you are all aware, one of our two key areas of engagement is the promotion of safer births and the reduction of maternal and child mortality.
We have been operating in Afghanistan since 2009 to reduce maternal and child mortality in Charkent (Balkh Province). This is a remote and mountainous district, with a very rough and barren terrain. We are the only organisation working in this district alongside our Afghan partner organisation CHA (Cooperation for Humanitarian Assistance). Our work here is therefore critical.
Why your support is important
Afghanistan has one of the highest maternal, infant and child mortality rates in the world. Ironically, for a country racked by war, it is not the conflict that is claiming the most lives, but the basic act of giving birth. Maternal deaths are ten times higher than the number of civilians killed in conflict.
In Afghanistan today, one woman in every eight dies of pregnancy related causes and one in four children dies before his or her fifth birthday. The situation is even worse in remote areas, such as the one we are working in.
Research shows that the causes of newborn and maternal deaths can be attributed to a number of key factors, including absence of emergency transport to take women in labour to health centres.
How we work
We work to ensure that both mother and child survive childbirth. We do this through using a low-cost but high-impact approach, which includes, inter alia, the development and distribution of a special donkey saddle which provides greater comfort and helps protect both the mother and unborn child on the journey from the villages to the health centre:
Our Donkey Ambulance saddle design is an exciting innovation, which was showcased at the recent Conference on â€œAppropriate Healthcare Technologies for Developing Countries: Low-cost, frugal technology medical devicesâ€ organised by the Institute of Mechanical Engineering in London. It has received a lot of attention and acclaim by the media, including BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4 and Associated Press.
Sponsor a HealthProm Donkey Ambulance!
The saddle design has almost reached completion stage. In order to be able to produce and disseminate the saddles to women in the villages, we are now looking for donations.
Sponsor a saddle for just Â£75 or whatever you can afford.
For more information about our work in Afghanistan and the HealthProm Donkey Ambulance, please visit our website: www.healthprom.org.