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Better world for mothers and babies, thanks to UMW

Better world for mothers and babies, thanks to UMW

Midwife's hands hover over newborn baby
Midwife services are a big part of helping mothers and infants in video stories from United Methodist Women.

NEW YORK – In 2015, United Methodist Women (UMW) granted more than $1 million to U.S. and international partners providing health programs for women and children.

The grants, awarded prior to the announcement of the United Nations’ Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, are part of UMW’s year-old Global Maternal and Child Health Initiative..

"The Global Maternal and Child Health Initiative addresses [the United Nations’] sustainable development goals No. 3 and [No.] 5. The two goals will empower women, promote gender equality and increase heath care availability. They are at the heart of United Methodist Women’s beginnings in 1869 and at the heart of our work today,” said Andris Salter, UMW assistant general secretary for mission opportunities.

About 100 U.S. and international programs have received grants as a result of UMW giving, which is also providing scholarships to students for medicine, public health, nursing and more. Click here for stories and videos from the Global Maternal and Child Health Initiatives that are being featured on the UMW website. They include:

  • In Zimbabwe, nearly 100 midwives are trained per year who in turn serve across the country;

  • In Haiti, traditional birth attendants delivered 848 babies and conducted 2,251 post-natal visits; and

  • In Mozambique, 20 community health workers were trained to address child marriage and an obstetrics complication known as fistula.

"Our foremothers built hospitals, clinics and trained local women to serve as doctors," Salter said. "The issues are still relevant; impoverished communities still do not have access to affordable health care. Therefore, our initiative will increase health care support for women, children and families across the globe.”

In 1869, the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society, a UMW predecessor, sent the first fully accredited woman physician missionary, Dr. Clara Swain, to India to provide quality health care to women. Today UMW is the largest denominational faith organization for women, with approximately 800,000 members putting faith, hope and love into action on behalf of women, children and youth for nearly 150 years.

– Click here for more news from United Methodist Women.