MIH Can: Because all lives are preciousOrganization Type: International
Address: UBC Department of Family Practice, 5150 University Boulevard, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4
A COMMUNITY-BASED APPROACH TO IMPROVING MATERNAL AND INFANT WELLBEING
MIH Can is working with communities to implement several evidence-based strategies for improving maternal and infant wellbeing. These strategies include supporting Odisha’s healthcare professionals and mothers in learning about how to best care for their premature babies, and developing a lifesaving, costeffective invention: a baby-warming blanket for pre-term or low birth-weight babies at risk of hypothermia. Hypothermia is a “top killer” for newborn babies—especially in remote, mountainous regions like Odisha. Keeping babies warm, then, is critical to reducing infant mortality rates in India. By training women’s groups to manufacture the blankets, this strategy will not only save the lives of babies at risk of hypothermia, but support economic development in low-income areas.
This work will be shared by publishing academic papers and hiring a local filmmaker to document the project. Ultimately, MIH Can’s vision is to plant the seeds for a sustainable, long-term initiative that can be adopted by the local government to improve infant and maternal health across the country.
MIH Can estimates that over five years, these interventions will prevent the deaths of 5,232 children in Odisha and help thousands more children get a healthy start at life. Imagine the impact of five thousand more children celebrating birthdays and five thousand less families grieving the loss of their children. Imagine what five thousand more young people, healthy and ready to explore everything human possibility has to offer, can do not only for their communities and countries, but for the global community as well.
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