On Saturday, May 9, the WHO organization declared Liberia “Ebola Transmission Free”!
Thank you for your generous support -- your generous gift and your swift response helped us to stop this outbreak at the source.
We also wanted to share a photo that our team at the Lunsar Ebola Treatment Center in Sierra Leone sent to our team in Liberia.
The hard work continues in Sierra Leone and Guinea, and much remains to be done. But today, we wanted to take a moment to thank you – you made our response possible, you gave our First Responders the resources they needed to safely address this crisis, and ultimately, together, we saved lives.
Overnight, a 7.3 earthquake struck the country with its epicenter near Namche, at the base of Mt. Everest.
All of our teams are safe, and our staff and volunteers are accounted for. Immediately following the quake, our teams mobilized to provide additional urgent support and supplies for those affected:
We will continue to work with the Ministry of Health and our on-the-ground partners to see how we can best provide support to families and communities in Nepal – thank you for your ongoing efforts to contribute to this response as it continues to unfold. It is with the generous support of GlobalGiving and other donors that we are able to continue to meet the most urgent needs as they arise.
In honor of International Day of the Midwife on May 5th, International Medical Corps recognized one of our inspirational midwives in the field, Grace. Grace received the Founder's Award at International Medical Corps' Annual Awards Gala for her unwavering commitment to building a cadre of skilled First Responders to serve their own communities in rural South Sudan.
Grace has worked tirelessly to train midwives in a country with one of the world’s highest maternal mortality rates. Here is Grace's moving acceptance speech from that night.
“I feel very honored to be here with you at this fantastic function. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to International Medical Corps for allowing me to do my important work. And to be here in the United States today.
“I am a daughter of the newly born nation of South Sudan which has experienced more than five decades of civil war. I was born during the war. I grew up in the war. And I am still experiencing the war. They say in my country, if you go one night without hearing a gun shot that is considered a peaceful night’s rest.
“When I was a child of 6 years old in a refugee camp, a group of nurses came to provide health care to the people. What motivated me to choose this career was the nature of their lifesaving work. And honestly as a young girl, I just absolutely loved their uniforms.
“My father was killed during the war. Our home burnt into ash. I was forced to look for a job at the age of 11 to earn my school fees. But I worked hard. And went on to receive my degree in nursing. Since then, International Medical Corps saw the potential in me. I was able to continue my training. As well as to train other midwives. Since 2008, Kajo Keji midwifery school has graduated more than 105 midwives and nurses.
“As a midwife, the smile of a mother hearing her baby cry for the first time moves me more than words can express.
“Dealing with life is not an easy thing in South Sudan. But as a health worker, as a mother, as a teacher, I can see that we are making progress.
“I thank International Medical Corps for recognizing my work, and everyone in this room and around the world who supports us in our mission. Thank you very much. God bless you.”
International Medical Corps supported Grace’s advanced midwifery and leadership training, paving the way for her to educate other midwives in South Sudan. In a country where up to 90% of women give birth far from formal medical facilities and without the help of professionally trained assistants, midwives can be the difference between life and death for mothers and newborns. With just 307 registered midwives available for a population of 2.4 million women of reproductive age in South Sudan, schools like the one Grace works at are having a remarkable impact.
Today, Grace helps oversee the school’s strategic plan to provide quality learning opportunities for nurse midwives, and is being mentored to take on the role of school principal in the coming year. Thanks to her leadership and hard work, 48 midwives and 20 nurses to date have graduated from the school and are providing care for expectant mothers and their newborns every day. Grace and her fellow International Medical Corps health workers are directly helping South Sudan reduce child mortality and improve maternal health.