Hope for Our Sisters plans to establish a Maternal Health Fund at the Wellness Clinic in Goma, DR Congo. This fund will provide local women access to life saving, critical maternal care (cesarean deliveries) when the women and/or families cannot pay. These funds are effective in preventing devastating birthing injuries (fistula) and protecting women and children from death during childbirth. Women in the DR Congo should be able to choose health and hope rather than suffering and death.
Surrounding Goma, DR Congo, many women cannot afford the most basic maternal care, including cesarean deliveries. Maternal Health Funds address the problem of poverty as a barrier to adequate health care, a barrier that can lead to injury or death among delivering mothers and their newborns. The World Health Organization found that 693 maternal deaths occur in DR Congo for every 100,000 live births, which has a crippling effect on families and communities. Many of these deaths are preventable.
Access to the Maternal Health Fund frees women from the risks associated with unsupervised labor by removing the burden of payment for those who cannot afford safe, quality care. Women who arrive at the Jericho Road Wellness Center in Goma in need of cesarean deliveries will have their surgery covered in part or in full if their financial situation is such that they would otherwise be forced to forego treatment. By enabling access, the risk for birth injuries and deaths is dramatically reduced.
This project will empower 75 women and their families in DR Congo by addressing a lack of quality maternal health care. Through unrestricted access to cesarean deliveries if needed, life-altering injuries are prevented and families are spared devastating maternal losses that forever affect children's developmental and socioeconomic status. Whole communities sharing positive birth stories following use of Maternal Health Funds will have positive ripple effects across the region for years to come.