ERC launches ‘Bridge of Hope’ initiative to train midwives in several countries

ERC launches 'Bridge of Hope' initiative to train midwives in several countries.

NOUAKCHOTT, TGO: The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) and the Sheikha Fatima Fund for Refugee Women, in cooperation with Etihad Airways, have launched the “Bridge of Hope” initiative to train midwives in several countries, including Mauritania, Kenya and Mali, with an aim to reduce the rate of maternal and newborn mortality among the communities that face such health challenges.

The initiative is being implemented under the directives of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), the Honorary Chairwoman of the ERC.

The initiative was launched at the Mbera refugee camp in Mauritania, in the presence of Sidi Ould Zahaf, Mauritania Health Minister; Dr. Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, ERC Secretary-General; a number of officials from both sides, in addition to partners’ representatives.

“Bridge of Hope” is being implemented in cooperation with the Mauritanian Ministry of Health, the UAE Embassy in Nouakchott, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UN volunteers and the Midwives Association in Nouakchott.

The initiative will serve around 90,000 women who reside in the camp and the surrounding villages. The midwives who will undergo the training will be selected from among the community women and will be trained by a group of specialised gynecologists and obstetricians under the supervision of the Mauritanian Ministry of Health.

It aims to reduce the suffering of refugee women, improve their health and humanitarian conditions, and help them meet their basic needs.

The initiative embodies UAE’s continuous efforts to help those affected by the crises and natural disasters around the world.

Dr. Maitha bint Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State, said that the initiatives of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak in the field of motherhood and childhood provide the necessary care for mothers and their children in many regions across the world that lack basic services. “Her Highness constantly follows up on the conditions of marginalized women and children who are victims of crises and disasters around the world and directs us to confront these challenges and threats by creating further development programmes and projects that can help enhance the skills and capabilities of these segments and contribute to improving their livelihoods,” Al Shamsi said.

For his side, Al Falahi said that this initiative embodies Sheikha Fatima’s keenness to meet the basic needs of women, especially the refugee ones who undergo severe conditions during their difficult journey. “Her Highness’s initiatives through the ERC enhance our capabilities to adopt projects that can help develop and reconstruct countries suffering from humanitarian and development challenges,” he added.

The proposed SDG target for child mortality aims to end, by 2030, preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 deaths per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 deaths per 1,000 live births.