March 26, 2024

A healthy start in life


There: Little May's first cry: for her parents Phyu and Soe, the most important sign that their little baby is doing well. It is now gasping for air for the first time, its lungs are developing and it is ready for life outside the womb.

The experienced doctor Min Min takes the little creature and gently places it in the arms of the exhausted but overjoyed mother. The two sniff each other extensively and May makes her first tentative attempts to suckle at the breast. A midwife comes along, takes the little girl, weighs and measures her, cleans her a little and then gives her back to her mother wrapped in warm, clean cloths. After a short while, they are both asleep; they feel well looked after and cared for here at the Bogale Mother and Child Center (Myanmar). Later the baby will be examined and the start of a healthy life is perfect!

If May had been born five years ago, this start could have been very different: Back then, medical facilities did not yet exist and most women gave birth at home in their mud huts under poor hygienic conditions. Medical care, initial examinations and intervention in the event of complications: None! Maternal and infant mortality were more or less the order of the day here.

In fact, the majority of newborns worldwide are still born under circumstances that are unimaginable for us.

The second goal of the WHO is therefore 'Start a healthy life'. Of course, this includes not only a good 'birth setting', but also further care in the first years of life, a healthy diet and the opportunity to learn the things necessary for life as an infant. This goal is closely linked to efforts to reduce maternal and infant mortality worldwide. According to a survey from 2023, 13,400 children die every day (under the age of 5); that is 560 children per hour or nine children per minute. Fortunately, there has been a positive trend here in recent years, and we can hope that this trend will continue.

With our mother and child center in Bogale, we contribute at least a small part to this, and of course we also try to support this positive development in our other projects in Tanzania and Bolivia by providing medical support for pregnant women and newborns.

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