Investing in Healthy Mothers and Children Worldwide

Earlier this week, a project we’ve been working on for months finally came to fruition! Hope Through Healing Hands announced a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to launch the Faith-Based Coalition for Healthy Mothers and Children Worldwide.

Since 2004, Hope Through Healing Hands has made investments to support infrastructure, sustainable health development, education, healthcare, and emergency relief in developing nations.

We’ve sponsored the placement of over 75 medical, nursing, and public health students as well as medical residents in underserved clinics around the globe to bolster health care support and provide training to community health workers. We have invested in the education of young health professionals to help stem the global health worker crisis.

HTHH’s newest initiative, with the help of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, might be our biggest effort yet.

  • Every year, complications from pregnancy and childbirth claim the lives of nearly 287,000 women and permanently disable many more, mostly in developing countries.
  • Children born to women younger than 18 years have an excess mortality risk of about 40% and are more likely to be stunted and anemic than children born to women over 18 years of age.
  • 42 million unplanned pregnancies worldwide end in abortion. 67,000 women die because of abortion-related injuries and millions more suffer complications and long-term injuries.

Yet if 120 million women get access to information on the healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies, 200,000 fewer women and girls will die in childbirth by 2020 and 3 million fewer babies will die in their first year of life by 2020. Fifty million abortions will be avoided by 2020.

The impact will be incredible.

The savings is not only counted in lives of women, girls, and newborns. Every dollar spent in family planning in a developing nation saves the country $4 in needed government services and support down the road. Healthy women can better care for themselves, their families, and build their communities.

How do we do this? By educating women in developing countries about the safest ages for pregnancy (between 18 and 34). By offering women contraception options (NOT including abortion) to help them space their children 2-3 years apart so that mothers can fully heal, and babies can get more of what they need that crucial first year.

Our work at HTHH is to spread the word, to build a coalition of faith-leaders and conservatives to promote awareness and advocacy for maternal, newborn, and child health with a focus on healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies. We’ve got several great initiatives planned. The Faith-Based Coalition for Healthy Mothers and Children Worldwide will offer education and advocacy support. There are opportunities to join us on our website.

This is an opportunity to profoundly impact future generations, and I’m so thrilled Hope Through Healing Hands will be leading the charge on behalf of these little ones and their families!