Statistics from the latest World Bank Report rate Albania as the country with the second-highest child mortality rate in the Balkans. As many as 75% of pregnant women in Albania have never received education on prenatal or postnatal care, making them and their child highly vulnerable to easily avoidable health risks. The Mother and Child Hospital Foundation is helping bridge this gap, empowering and educating mothers through offering free of charge, prenatal and postnatal classes.
According to the Demographic and Health Situation report in Albania, neonatal deaths represent the largest number of deaths among children between 0-5 years of age in Albania. Furthermore, statistical data have shown that babies born to the poorest families have a much higher risk of death. Although medical and obstetrical care are important, maternal antenatal education, including maternal behavior and lifestyle, have an immense impact on the prevention of neonatal morbidity and mortality.
Many causes of infant and mother mortality are easily preventable with low cost interventions focusing on maternal awareness, education and empowerment. The Mother and Child Hospital Foundation, in addition to offering physical perinatal classes, will work on developing the first open source digital video library for perinatal education in Albanian language. Doing so, we hope to maximize the potential of perinatal education, and remove barriers to attendance posed by mentality and distance.
Our experience of working with maternity health has shown us that when a woman is informed and empowered, she parents better, and is more capable of identifying potential health threats to her baby before they become fatal. We believe that by placing easily accessible resources in the hands of women and health professionals across Albania, we will directly contribute in reducing child mortality rates by increasing awareness on the importance of perinatal education, infant care and self-care.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).