Enfants du Monde provides health education courses
In poor countries, due to a lack of health education, often the local population do not have the knowledge required to care for themselves; stay in good health or make health-promoting decisions in the event of illness or an emergency. For example, families are not aware that a pregnant woman should attend prenatal care visits or that bleeding can be a sign of complications.
Thus, the mortality of pregnant women, mothers and babies remains high, despite the joint effort of States and organisations to improve and expand healthcare services. Each year Enfants du Monde provides free health education to thousands of pregnant women as well as future fathers and the rest of the family. A variety of means with educational purposes are used to help participants learn how to improve their health. For instance, there are educational sessions delivered by health care workers, street theatre to bring the information to life as well as radio programmes. In addition, a Birth Preparation Card, which is distributed to all pregnant women, helps them to get ready for this crucial time in their life.
- In our health education courses, pregnant women, future fathers and the rest of the family learn how women can stay in good health during the pregnancy, for example by eating nutritious foods.
- Families learn how to respond in the event of a complication during pregnancy or birth and are prepared to take appropriate action.
- Mothers learn to provide basic care for new-borns and to recognize symptoms of common illnesses.
- The Birth Preparation Card involves the entire family and facilitates discussion in the home about preparing for the birth in the best way possible.
- Pre- and post-natal visits, as well as the number of births taking place at health centres under the care of qualified healthcare professionals, have increased.
- Home births with the assistance of untrained midwives have decreased.
- Women know their health rights. They know for example, that they have the right to receive skilled care at the health centre and that they do not need the consent of another family member in order to consult a doctor.
- In Burkina Faso, education for husbands changes the behaviour of men: going beyond traditions, they support the pregnant women in everyday life and get involved in the aftercare of the pregnancy.
- In El Salvador and in Burkina Faso, health education has been introduced in schools and in training centres in order to reduce early pregnancies.