Just a few years ago, for instance, home births in unsanitary conditions were the norm in the slums of Bangladesh. In the areas in which we work, we’ve managed to reduce the percentage of home births from 86 percent to 25 percent over the course of just three years. We did this by setting up “birthing huts” in the slums themselves – places with a sterilized mattress, a trained midwife and a low-cost birthing kit. And we trained an army of 80,000 poor women to delivery low-cost medical services to their own villages and slums, while allowing these women to earn extra income doing so. We’ve started providing them with mobile phones, with simple applications that help them keep accurate patient records – and allowing them to call a doctor when complications arise.
Formerly the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, BRAC has been called not only the largest but also the most efficient non-governmental organization in the world. Our maternal, neo-natal and child health programs have reached 24.5 million people – about the population of the state of Texas. We’re making a real difference, and we believe we can multiply these numbers by spreading the BRAC approach worldwide.
Things are changing. We invite you to help us spread the good news with the Million Moms Challenge.