mothers

Meet Sophie.

I'd like to introduce you to a special mother. Her name is Mama Sophie (meet her in this video). Seven months pregnant and experiencing pain, Sophie went to the Dipeta Health Facility in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC):

I thought maybe the baby was changing position in the womb, but…[they told me the baby was coming].

Sophie was frightened: she had lost two babies before. She wasn’t the only person concerned. Dipeta Health Facility has an incubator, but doesn't have a reliable source of electricity to use it.

When I delivered... I could see people were worried… But, Mama Esther, the birth attendant said: ‘Mardochée will grow up in the Kangaroo Mother style.'

Trained by the birth attendant on Kangaroo Mother Care, Sophie held Mardochée skin-to-skin close against her chest -- wrapped in a cloth like a kangaroo protecting a newborn in its pouch -- for days and days.

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman.}Photo credit: Warren Zelman.

For the mother who walks miles for health,

Carrying a near-lifeless child on her back,

We envision a world…

 

For the mother, living with HIV, who mentors others,

Helping to prevent transmission of the disease,

We envision a world…

 

For the mother who must choose

Improving the health of a parent or educating a child,

We envision a world…

 

For the mother who births, the mother who feeds,

And the mother who cares for a child,

We envision a world...

 

Where -- all mothers, all children -- everyone

Has the opportunity for a healthy life.

 

Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours!

 

[A woman talks with Belkis Giorgis (right)] {Photo credit: Dominic Chavez, 2011}A woman talks with Belkis Giorgis (right)Photo credit: Dominic Chavez, 2011

Women waiting for health services outside of Tambura PHCC, South Sudan.

 

Sitting under the lush mango trees in rural Tambura, South Sudan, I realized Mother’s Day was approaching and I needed to send my mom in Chicago a gift. More and more each year, I treasure my mom, who raised four children. But this year, while working on a health project in South Sudan, my appreciation and wonderment is also for mothers worldwide.

Kitchen Garden Produce & Afghan Boy

The carefully irrigated and shaded kitchen garden provided welcome splashes of different shades of green against the surrounding dry brown soil and rocks. We congratulated Shukria, a community health worker (CHW), on the lush vegetables and ripening fruits as we entered her home.

Shukria explained that the gardens that she and other women were growing started with the community-based growth monitoring program through the Family Health Action Groups. The growth monitoring is successfully identifying children under two who were not gaining enough weight or were undernourished. She and other mothers spent time counseling the mothers of the identified underweight children.

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