About the Situation
By the Numbers
Maternal mortality rates per 100,000 births in 2010:
Life expectancy at birth (male/female):
Probability of dying before age 5:
US: 8 in 1,000
Mali: 176 in 1,000
Afghanistan: 101 in 1,000
Preventing illness is often as simple as soap, clean water, hygienic sanitation facilities and perhaps as piece of netting to protect children from malaria-transmitting mosquito bites. When these basic items are provided, the number of illnesses drops drastically. These are still unattainable luxuries in some regions of the world.
But preventing illness is not the only challenge. Once an individual becomes ill, access to health care varies widely: Poor populations tend to have less access to health care. In some countries, as few as 10% of births are attended by skilled health workers, according to the World Health Organization. Every two minutes, a woman dies of pregnancy-related complications—over the course of a year, more than a quarter of a million woman die from pregnancy and childbirth complications. What’s more? Poor children live much shorter lives than children from wealthy families, in part due to inadequate health care.
The WHO report finds that addressing these disparities could save the lives of 700,000 women and more than 16 million children by 2015. Alhamdulilah, some progress has already been made: the percentage of maternal deaths dropped 41% from 1990 to 2010 in sub-Saharan Africa, but there is still much work to be done there as 36 of the 40 countries with the world’s highest rates of maternal deaths are in that same region.
How Islamic Relief is Helping
When crisis hits a country, Islamic Relief provides humanitarian aid that often includes emergency health care and distribution of clean water to prevent illness. Our teams often stay to implement long-term development projects, such as rebuilding destroyed water and sanitation facilities, or constructing new facilities for populations lacking them. Projects like these reduce illness rates and save lives.
Here’s a breakdown of some health programs Islamic Relief has supported:
NIGER EMERGENCY HEALTHCARE PROJECT
PUNJAB INTEGRATED REHABILITATION PROGRAM
DIALYSIS UNIT AT ABU AL QASEM HOSPITAL
EMERGENCY RESPONSE, INCLUDING HEALTH AID
AL-SELO WATER AND HEALTH PROJECT