UMCOR / Our Work / Health / Community Health / Maternal and Child Health

Maternal and Child Health

Mother holding child.

The resources to save children's and mothers' lives are basic. The knowledge that leads to infant and maternal health is common. The solutions are simple. Yet millions of mothers and children die or suffer needlessly. In many parts of the world, half the children die before their fifth birthday from preventable diseases. The Mother/Child Survival strives to turn this situation around through:

redarrowOral Rehydration
redarrowGrowth Monitoring

Through your support of the following programs, we can work toward the prophet Isaiah's vision of the new Jerusalem: "No more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days" (65:19-20).

Through educational programs and basic health resources, mothers learn about proper nutrition, including the importance of breast feeding. Health workers encourage women to breast feed their infants. Formula is more expensive, may not always be available, and in places with a scarcity of clean water or poor sanitation, it can make children sick or even cause death.

Oral Rehydration
Rural and urban mothers, health workers, pastors, and evangelists receive training in life-saving oral rehydration. In Bangladesh in the late 1960s, a simple, miracle discovery was made in treating children with life-threatening diarrhea: a home-made solution that can be given by mouth to prevent dehydration. Consisting of salt, baking soda, sugar, and clean water, this solution is given to infants and children at the first sign of diarrhea.

Preventable childhood diseases are still prevalent in many areas of the world. Health care workers receive the knowledge and resources to provide immunizations for the six primary childhood diseases: polio, tetanus, whooping cough, typhoid, measles and tuberculosis. Polio continues to strike and kill children. Even mild cases can be disabling and prevent young men and women from supporting themselves. When pregnant women are immunized against tetanus their baby is protected as well. Neonatal tetanus is a common cause of death in infants. Whooping cough still causes prolonged illness in children in developing countries. When combined with malnutrition, the child often dies. Likewise, measles, typhoid, and tuberculosis are still major killers in some countries.

Growth Monitoring
Mothers and community health workers learn to use growth charts to monitor a child's overall physical condition. Monthly weighing and monitoring of infants and children under five years of age enables mothers to know whether their children are growing, healthy,and properly nourished. If a child is underweight or her weight decreases from one month to the next, health workers provide counseling and assistance so the mothers may help their children to grow.

What You Can Do


You can support this program by giving to UMCOR Advance  #982645,  Mother/Child Survival.


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By Offering                      For local church and Annual Conference credit,
                                          put your gift in the offering plate on Sunday.

By Check                         Make your check to UMCOR and mail to
                                          PO Box 9068, 
                                          New York, NY 10087

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