Today is International women’s day

Dr Alison Earley

It’s a day for dressing up in much of the world, a day to celebrate the work women do to make the world go round, a day of empowerment. The picture here is of Cameroonian women on International Women’s Day in 2018, learning how to resuscitate babies dressed in their International Women’s Day material that they make into powerfully beautiful dresses every year. We should make more of it in the UK really.

There are many achievements to celebrate on International Women’s Day, but we mustn’t forget that in resource poor areas of the world, maternal mortality (death related to pregnancy and childbirth) is still 5 – 10 times higher than in richer countries.

Many mothers still give birth in unclean or unsafe places, and without skilled help or adequate facilities.   This has a direct result on the survival of their babies; two of the leading causes of neonatal mortality are infection and intra-partum related events.

Education for healthcare workers and sustainable improvements in maternal and newborn care are the key to improving this situation.   NICHE International has a mission to improve the care of newborn babies, by the training we give and by supporting nurses, doctors and midwives to maintain their skills and improve the care they give to mothers and babies.

Training (predominantly female) nurses and midwives to be instructors on the Neonatal Care Course (NCC) empowers them to “Choose to Challenge” and make changes to their own healthcare systems from the bottom up.

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