The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. As countries across the globe battle the coronavirus pandemic, nurses are on the frontlines saving patients, while midwives are stepping up to help women deliver healthy babies both in hospitals and at home.
On April 7, World Health Day, a global health awareness day celebrated since 1950, will shine a spotlight on public health issues around the world, which have gained added urgency since the emergence of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China late last year.
One global public health nonprofit, Vitamin Angels, which focuses on the health of mothers and babies, will join WHO to celebrate nurses and midwives. The organization distributes life-changing vitamins and evidence-based nutrition programs for pregnant women, infants, and children under five at the risk of malnutrition across the globe, reaching corners of the globe were pre and postnatal care are scarce or nonexistent.
According to Vitamin Angels’ Founder & President, Howard Schiffer, a former midwife, “Having known midwives in the US and around the world for almost fifty years now, I can tell you honestly that these are some of the most talented, compassionate, giving, and skilled professionals I have ever met. Talk with women and you’ll understand the kind of emotional support they receive from a nurse or midwife, and why this is such an important component of a healthy pregnancy.”
Maternal undernutrition contributes to approximately 7,000 newborn deaths every day. Therefore, a healthy diet is essential to break the cycle of poverty and poor health that afflicts many communities. By enhancing the health of pregnant women, Vitamin Angels gives children a fighting chance at being born healthy and thrive. In 2020, the organization, working with its community of partners, will reach more than 70 million women and children worldwide.
According to statistics, approximately 30% of the world’s population lacks access to healthcare as a result of geographic location, socioeconomic status, infrastructure, environment, social norms, discrimination, and education. By focusing on these vulnerable populations, Vitamin Angels is able to supplement the efforts of national health services and reach those most in need of nutritional services.
Through partnerships with local nonprofit, government, and faith-based organizations, Vitamin Angels is able to effectively provide essential vitamins and minerals to millions of mothers and babies. The organization currently has 1600+ Field Partners globally and is the largest nutrition distribution platform of its kind.
Vitamin Angels focuses prenatal multivitamins, vitamin A, deworming and supplementary feeding to create lasting change around the globe by conducting implementation research, monitoring and evaluation, education/ learning services, and heading advocacy campaigns to increase awareness about malnutrition and maternal health as a global public health problem.
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