More than half of all Indian women including pregnant and nursing mothers are anemic. In fact, 59% of pregnant women and 63% of nursing mothers suffer from anemia increasing their risk of miscarriage, infant anemia and low birth weight. Anemia is not the only health problem stemming from poor health and nutrition of Indian mothers. A lack of iodine can lead to miscarriage or infant brain damage. The 2014 State of the World’s Mothers Report found that mother and infant mortality is highest during labor, birth and the first week of life. Improper nutrition places women and their babies at risk of death during a time that should be a celebration of life.
For many women, this situation is compounded by societal pressures and gender bias. Health experts in Bhopal, India reported that most families will not volunteer to donate blood to a women. Bhopal’s largest blood bank is also limited, because for every 10 bags of blood donated, only three (3) are for women. This means that during labor and delivery, women who are already anemic or who hemorrhage may not have any replacement for blood lost. Many women have trouble even having access to treatment. A recent survey of over 30,000 married, Indian women reported that 81% of them needed permission from their husbands just to go to a health care center.
Through our partners, IGP is turning these forms of gender bias into opportunity. We are providing pre-natal vitamins, ante-natal vitamins, food and supplements for women who are pregnant or nursing. We are providing this support to women in their own homes. Social workers check on the health and safety of pregnant and nursing mothers as well as female infants. Providing these resources gives our partners the opportunity to educate women on health, nutrition, hygiene and safety. But more importantly, it gives us the chance to educate women on the value of girls as infants, children and adults. The social workers encourage mothers of female infants to keep and value their little girls.
Sources:Times of India, WSJ India, Save The Children, UNICEF
You Can Provide The Gift of Life to Mothers and Babies
- $33 Can Provide a Baby with Life Saving Vitamins and Supplements for Six (6) Months
- $35 Can Pay a Social Worker for a Whole Week to Educate, Give Emotional Support and Health Visits to Mothers and Children in Need
- $56 Can Provide Pregnant Mothers in Our Partner’s Program with Critical Pre-Natal Vitamins for One (1) Month
- $150 Can Provide the Salary for An Entire Month of Support, Monitoring, Nutrition, and All Other Services Our Social Workers Provide
To give one of these life saving gifts through our Girls2Women Project, simply follow the instructions to donate on our website.