International HELP is currently finalizing program components to establish a maternal health certification program for our Community Health Workers (CHWs) across the globe. In the next year, we will be conducting a pilot project in rural El Salvador for our previously-trained CHWs who have not only expressed specific interest in obtaining this specialty training but have also presented a community need for more accessible basic maternal health care and education.
At International HELP, we strive to empower CHWs to help combat the risk factors behind maternal mortality and morbidity. Although there has been global progress in decreasing maternal mortality/morbidity, it is evident that there is still work to be done. According to the World Health Organization1:
- About 295,000 women died during and following pregnancy and childbirth in 2017.
- Approximately 810 women died every day in 2017 from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
- 94% of all maternal deaths occur in low and lower-middle-income countries.
- Young adolescents (ages 10-14) face a higher risk of complications and death as a result of pregnancy than other women.
- Complications during pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for 15–19-year-old girls globally.
– Evelyn Argueta, MPH Intern