In honor of International Women’s Day yesterday, the internet was flooded with articles, blog posts, and social media statuses celebrating womanhood and the women and causes we hold close to our hearts. What many people don’t know is that in most of the developing world, nearly 50% of mothers and newborns don’t receive the healthcare necessary to ensure survival both during and after delivery.
Every year, 2.6 million babies are delivered stillborn, and 2.9 million die within their first month of life. Even with our incredible strides in modern-day medicine, newborns still make up 44% of the childhood mortality rate. The main causes of death are complications in delivery, complications due to prematurity, and infection, all of which are treatable with proper healthcare.
In the Talamanca region of eastern Costa Rica, the Cabecar population endures infant and mother mortality rates almost 5 times higher than the rest of the country’s population. Without access to the assistance available in more developed areas, common illnesses can mean death, and many families won’t seek help until it’s too late.
At St. Francis Emmaus Center, these mothers are provided with housing, meals, childbirth education, and quality care to ensure a safe delivery and recovery for their babies and for themselves. Through this continued work, the statistics can be changed. These are the women who need advocacy. These are the women who need your help.