Newborns are the most vulnerable. In 2019 47% of all under-five deaths were newborns. UNICEF predicts that 26 million newborns will die by 2030 if there are no interventions. The majority of these newborns are born in war zones and 80% will die from preventable causes.
War wreaks havoc on a country and has a direct impact on the most vulnerable- newborns. Hospitals, clinics, and even health care workers often targeted during war, disrupting the healthcare system. This means that pregnant women have no access to healthcare or a doctor and several give birth at home without a birth attendant.
War causes stress and trauma. In pregnant women, the presence of high levels of stress has a direct correlation with prematurity, low birth weight, and stillbirths.
We work in two high conflict countries where high levels of newborns are dying- Afghanistan and Syria. We combat the lack of access to health care by providing pediatricians, nurses, midwives, and obstetricians. These healthcare workers will assist expecting mothers during birth and ensure the baby is safe both prior to and after the baby is born. We also provide community-based birth education where mothers often give birth at home due to lack of access to healthcare or cultural reasons. This birth curriculum is an extensive program that trains community leaders on how to keep babies safe before, during, and after the birth process.