In 2012, SAGE UK launched Global Giving, a scheme which saw staff from the London office nominate developmental and educational charities and projects in the developing world to receive funding for a specific need. We were delighted to repeat the initiative in 2013 and here, as part of a series of posts on the charities that SAGE has supported this year, Kate Leeming, Supervising Senior Production Editor, explains why she nominated Health Poverty Action and what the money will enable.
“Sierra Leone is a dangerous place for a mother-to-be. The number of women dying due to complications in childbirth is among the highest on the planet. Northern Bombali is a remote area (one in three people live over five miles from the nearest health facility) where use of health services is low, due especially to poor health awareness among communities combined with difficulty in accessing services. The majority of births in the region are still performed by traditional birth attendants, women from the community who do not have any formal training and so are unable to cope with childbirth emergencies.
Health Poverty Action is working in Northern Bombali to train traditional birth attendants as Maternal Health Promoters. Instead of delivering babies themselves, they will provide support and advice for women and ensure that they deliver safely in health facilities. They will be trained to recognise danger signs during pregnancy and, where possible, to accompany women to health facilities. They will work closely with their nearest health facility and also receive mobile phones to help make quick referrals in emergencies.
They will be supported to carry out postnatal home visits to promote postnatal care and advise women on important health issues for them and their child, such as breastfeeding, immunisation, hygiene, malaria prevention, avoiding harmful practices and common causes of newborn death. Training these Maternal Health Promoters will help increase the number of women receiving skilled birth attendance in Northern Bombali by 25%.”