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22/04/2015 - Creating long term change in Women's health

For over 30 years ICROSS has been building Mother and child health initiatives in East Africa. This requires continuity and long term committment working with local communities. ICROSS is building locally owned , community driven programmes that create ongoing improvements in the daily lives of the communities we work with.

Creating safe mother and child health porogrammes

“Africa accounts for 20 per cent of the world’s births but contributes to 40 per cent of maternal deaths globally, many of which would also be preventable if proper and accessible health care was in place.” According to WHO, the biggest risk to the lives of teenage girls and women in the developing world is pregnancy and childbirth. Too many young girls become pregnant with devastating and long-term effects on their reproductive health.

ICROSS is increasing the number of skilled midwives to provide basic and comprehensive emergency and obstetric services is key to preventing maternal deaths. Over the last 5 years we have trained over 300 midwives and we have established Maternity units in all our clinics and health facilities. You can help to support these essential programmes and support our Rights based approach to providing safe and informed Reproductive health services, maternal education and improved nutirition in remote areas of the Great Rift Valley. Dr Michael Meegan who advises other NGOs on creating sustainable public health programmes said today in London that " without a ten year integrated planning, most programmes fail within 18 months of external funding. The endemic problem is that projects rely too much on overseas funding and simply stop. This can be avoided if the planning, design and seed comke from the community and sustainability is inbuild from inception.

This is the approach of all long term viable programmes. While there is a lot of lip service to this concept, there is very little on the ground to show for it across Africa apart from stalled and dead projects. The examples of success invariably have three charactaristics. Local ownership, long term committment, a sustanable element and strategy for evidence based evolution and change.

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