Advent Maternal Health Initiative
The mission of Advent Maternal Health Initiative is to raise awareness about and funds for maternal health issues, specifically obstetric fistula. We accomplish our mission through educational events, small actions, such as assembling healthy birth bits, and through fundraising events.
What is Obstetric Fistula? Obstetric fistula is a hole in the birth canal caused by prolonged labor without necessary intervention. The woman is left with chronic incontinence and, in most cases a stillborn baby. In addition, the social stigma associated with her incontinence leaves her marginalized within the community.
Obstetric fistula disproportionately affects poor women in developing countries – more than 2 million suffer from it, with 100,000 new cases each year. A simple surgery costing as little as $300 can repair a fistula and empower a woman to reclaim her life.
The persistence of fistula is a signal that health systems are failing to meet the needs of women, especially those who are poor .
Our Call to Action: We, the members of Advent Maternal Health Initiative (AMHI), see maternal health as a gender issue, a justice issue and as a matter of faith. Most maternal health issues are entirely preventable or curable and treatment generally relatively affordable. Knowing that, we feel compelled to act for justice and to inspire others to join the movement.
AMHI Action Plan:
1. Education - Raise awareness of maternal health issues by hosting a screening of A Walk to Beautiful, a documentary about obstetric fistula, and an Educational Panel on Maternal Health
2. Healthy Birth Kits – Collect, assemble and send Healthy Birth Kits and supplies to maternal health clinics in developing countries
3. Fundraising – Raise funds for obstetric fistula repair surgeries, education and outreach
Upcoming Events: March 2010 – Collecting Healthy Birth Kit supplies (soap, baby blankets, gallon-size plastic freezer bags ) April 18, 2010 – A Walk to Beautiful screening followed by a Q&A with producer; 1-3pm April 25, 2010 – Educational Panel on Maternal Health with speakers representing advocacy, medical, legal and faith perspectives on maternal health issues; 1-3pm May 16, 2010 – Health Birth Kit Assembly Day; 1-3pm June 2010 – Run/ Walk Fundraiser Fall 2010 – Benefit Dinner with Silent Auction and speaker October 2010 – Run/ Walk Fundraiser