• Heather Taylor

A promise worth keeping

In 2014, I traveled to Malawi to stay with family friends, Helen and Paul Jones, who had been living there for the last 25 years. While I was there, I tagged along on visits to rehabilitate old water wells that no longer worked.

There was one woman in particular that stood out to me at one of the wells. She was 18 at most, and had a young child already. She was vivacious and you could see her intelligence and natural leadership skills as she was stepping up to take over the maintenance of the well in her village.

So when I think of the PROMISE project that Emmanuel International Canada (EIC) is running in Malawi for maternal, newborn and child health her face is the one that comes to mind.

Women in developed countries have a

1-in-7300 lifetime risk of dying from pregnancy-related causes, compared with a 1-in-75 risk in developing countries. In Africa, the lifetime risk is 1-in-26. As many as 60% of women in Africa are not receiving clinical assistance by doctors, nurses, or midwives during or after birth.Major causes of maternal or infant death, including infection, bleeding, and disease are entirely preventable.

This beautiful young woman and her first child survived, EIC is working to ensure she and other women are able to survive and thrive through the birth of her next children.

EIC is focusing its efforts in Malawi at six health clinics and more than 300 villages. Within these communities, PROMISE is improving the delivery and utilisation of essential health services to mothers, pregnant women, and all children under the age of five. Additionally, this project informs patients of the benefits of increased consumption of nutritious food and supplements for mothers and children.

Their target areas have experienced a low level of knowledge of the safest, most hygienic and healthiest ways to care for a baby. In fact, many do not realize that there are safer methods available to them! Because of this, the country experiences a lack of skilled workers, infrastructure and transport in regards to maternal and child health. Whether it is because of poverty, distance, low level of knowledge or inadequate services, mothers and children are needlessly suffering, and it is our promise to help.

You can support the PROMISE project by donating online.