Imagine life without your mother. For many around the world this is a reality.  Every 90 seconds a mother dies during pregnancy or childbirth, and 99% of these deaths take place in developing countries where a lack of access to basic medicines and services is taking mothers from their children. VSI is trying to end this.

VSI is a California-based nonprofit organization committed to improving women’s health in developing countries by creating access to life-saving and affordable health solutions for all. Their largest safe motherhood program brings life-saving generic tablets to rural women for management of excessive bleeding after childbirth, or postpartum hemorrhage. VSI has assisted 17 developing countries in the integration of life-saving maternal health solutions, trained over 18,000 health care providers on safer childbirth, and educated over 130,000 women and their families on safer childbirth.

Here is one mother’s story…There are many faces of motherhood.  Mariye from Ethiopia is both a mother to her own seven children as well as a mother to the countless women she helps through labor and childbirth.  She confidently fulfills her role as a traditional birth attendant (TBA) in a world that often overlooks the importance of these essential community health workers.  Mariye is a vital resource to the women in her community, providing care and compassion to women who deliver at home, who would otherwise be alone. Her strength and her wisdom are derived from her own experiences in childbirth and her own inspirational story.  Mariye’s first child was delivered stillborn.  As time passed she grew weak and began to realize that her afterbirth still had not come.  In order to save her own life, she found the strength to pull out the placenta herself, thereby saving her own life. Mariye sees her story as a gift. Without strong and supportive women like Mariye, VSI’s work to reach women at the margins would be left unaccomplished.

Maternal Mortality Facts:

  • Each year, over 340,000 women die of causes related to pregnancy and childbirth; 99 percent of these deaths occur in developing countries.
  • This means that every 90 seconds, a woman dies in pregnancy or childbirth. This is unacceptable and preventable.
  • In many developing countries, large numbers of women deliver at home, sometimes alone and many without the aid of a skilled attendant.
  • Because women are social and economic providers, saving women’s lives and improving their health strengthens their communities and gives their children greater security.
  • In Ethiopia, 94% of women give birth at home.  And only 6% of births are attended by a skilled provider.
  • In the communities that VSI serves, becoming pregnant is one of the most dangerous things a woman can do.

For more information on VSI including how to become involved in their efforts visit: http://www.vsinnovations.org/.

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