CAUSE Canada has extensive experience working with women, children, and communities to improve maternal, newborn, and child health. The focus of our work is multi-pronged. We strive to:
1. Increase access to health services;
2. Improve the delivery of care;
3. Address the need for culturally appropriate services; and
4. Improve nutrition.
Ultimately our goal is to decrease maternal and child mortality.
In many regions of the world, maternal and infant mortality are a common experience for rural communities. Accessing quality health services that meet the needs of poor and marginalized women and children is difficult for families living in remote areas. Once women reach services, providers are challenged by a lack of training, equipment, and ability to address cultural barriers such as language that enable quality care.
Finally, nutrition is too often one of the root causes of infant mortality, early childhood stunting, and wasting. We provide communities and individuals with support for breastfeeding, counselling on a balanced diet, and access to nutritional food and resources.
What we do
We work with rural populations to help them meet their needs. Our programs focus on helping bring culturally appropriate services to remote areas, and training and equipping health staff to provide quality support to women and children. We also provide training to individuals and the community to help them support pregnant women and their families to prevent and address crisis situations.
Nutrition is a key component of our work. Depending on the needs of the community, we assess children for signs of malnutrition and make referrals as appropriate. We also help women access resources or support them to grow vegetable gardens to meet their families’ needs, or in more extreme circumstances, provide access to nutritional interventions when acute malnutrition is present.
Where we work
CAUSE Canada has been working on maternal, newborn, child health in Sierra Leone since 1993. More recently, we have established programs in the Western Highlands of Guatemala and in the region of Santa Barbara in Honduras. Each of these areas have some of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world. The Under-Five Mortality Rate in Sierra Leon for example is 120/1,000 (WB, 2015) – a rate much higher than global and Sub-Saharan averages.
Each year, we reach thousands of women, children, and families through our maternal, newborn, and child health programming.