Maternity hospital for low income Nigerian women

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More information about Zita’s Healthy Beginnings: To reduce maternal and infant mortality rate.
Maternal mortality in Nigeria is highest globally, primarily due to the unavailability and inadequacy of health care services.
Zita's Healthy Beginnings (ZHB) aims to prepare expectant mothers for childbirth by offering access to exceptional prenatal care and building a safe health care facility where medical personnel will be available to assist in labor and delivery. The goal is to ultimately reduce maternal mortality rates and foster all Nigerian mothers' bodies, minds, and spirits.
Epidemiology Assessment
Maternal mortality rates are a crucial indicator of the health status of a country as a whole. Poor maternal health reveals systematic problems within a health system and the gaps in service provision. In 2015, Nigeria's health care system was ranked 187 out of 191 of the United Nations member states, and only 42% of health care facilities met the international standards for obstetric care. Maternal mortality in Nigeria is at a staggering 560 deaths per 100,000 live births due to a combination of health, Socio-economical, cultural, and geographic factors and the underlying effect that poverty plays.
The burden of disease from maternal, neonatal, and nutritional health causes is higher than tuberculosis, HIV, and malaria combined. Preterm birth complications cause 4.7% of deaths, and birth asphyxia and birth trauma generate 4.3% of deaths. Between 2000 and 2015, while the crude death rates in these categories have slightly decreased, their rankings in Nigeria's top ten causes of death have increased.
Target Population
Zita's Healthy Beginnings (ZHB) aims to build a maternity hospital and health care center in the autonomous community of Umuawuchi, located in the state of Imo, Nigeria. Umuawuchi is a low-income, rural community composed of eight subdivisions between ten and fifteen thousand.
About 25,000 total pregnant women reside in the community. Unfortunately, health care is virtually nonexistent; there is only one source for health care available, referred to as the "chemists."
These are private medicine retailers with little or no formal training that act as the primary source of affordable, typically expired, over-the-counter medicines for urban and rural populations. The nearest hospital, Mater Misericordia Hospital, is in the neighboring state of Ebonyi and is over three hours from Umuawuchi by bus.
The closest highway is the Enugu-Umuahia express road. However, the bridge-less Imo River cuts the community off the street, making travel via car difficult, and therefore, medical emergency visits to the hospital are virtually impossible. As a result, many maternal and infant health complications that arise during labor and delivery are tragically unanswered, mainly due to the non-existence of local health attention.
Zita's Healthy Beginnings (ZHB) is a 501c (3) nonprofit organization founded in February 2016. The organization's goal was to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates in Western Pennsylvania and Nigeria through prenatal education, advocacy, and the construction of a maternity hospital and healthcare center in Nigeria.
One of the plans that ZHB has is that after training the community health workers, they can conduct home visits in remote areas and provide primary health/first aid treatments to individuals in the community. Many children in the remote villages are still not vaccinated against the six childhood deadly diseases, and ZHB wants to close that gap by providing health care services where it is most needed.
We are soliciting financial help in the USA to train Birth Doulas, lactation consultants, and other services to support women and children in Western Pennsylvania. In Nigeria, we plan to train at least 20 community health care workers and 10 Doulas.
Your contributions can help; a $10 donation will purchase one kit for a Doula for six months. A $50 gift provides lunch for 10 Doulas for seven days of training, and a $500 donation purchases fifty bags of cement. In addition, $1,000 can purchase a sonogram machine for the maternity hospital, and $2,000 pays for a water bowl hole that provides clean water to the whole community for decades.
As you can imagine, a little donation goes a long way to support our project and bring smiles to people's faces. We count on you to make this happen. May you be richly blessed as you donate generously.
Sr. Zita O. Iwuoha, GSM.


Zita Iwuoha
Pittsburgh, PA
Zita’s Healthy Beginnings
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.

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