International Medical Corps delivers all the basic services of strong maternal child health care and child survival, including lifesaving pre- and post-natal care in remote, demanding settings where such tasks carry high levels of cultural sensitivity. We vaccinate infants and young children routinely against an array of diseases, and we also have the capacity and experience to immunize thousands quickly when an epidemic threatens. Teaching good child feeding practices to new mothers, monitoring child growth closely, and preventing and treating the big three easily preventable child-killers – acute respiratory infections, malaria, and diarrhea – are also central to our maternal and child health services.
Women and children are a major focus of our work around the world. Take, for example, our following successes:
*One in eleven women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will die from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, compared with one in 8,000 in industrialized countries. International Medical Corps offers comprehensive health services to women, including pre- and post-natal care, routine check-ups, immunizations, and safe-delivery services. We also train local nurses, midwives, and doctors to provide safe, clean deliveries and to handle complications that might arise. In one year alone, our nurses and midwives provided maternal health services to 40,833 women who were pregnant or who had recently given birth. We have also constructed a new Reproductive Health Center to meet the needs of some 20,000 women in the Kalonge region of eastern DRC—where we are training medical staff to provide advanced surgical and nursing care.
*In Northern Uganda, a region emerging from two decades of brutal armed conflict, International Medical Corps created an innovative psychosocial-nutrition pilot research program: mother-to-mother support groups at food distribution centers enhanced mother-child interaction and improved early childhood development. International Medical Corps is replicating this successful program at nutrition sites serving Somali refugees in Ethiopia.
*In 2002, a female physician trained by International Medical Corps trained a cadre of other trainers and 170 vaccination team members for a 15-day vaccination campaign against measles. With dedicated community support, 22 teams immunized 95% of the 850,000 children living in the Afghan capital.