On assignment with HealthPartners for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, Grand Challenges Canada, UKAID and the Government of Norway.
A couple years ago I traveled to Uganda with USAID and the President’s Malaria Initiative to create photographs to inform local communities about Malaria prevention. It was a life changing experience one that brought me back to Uganda again this Spring in order to create a video for HealthPartners, USAID, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, The Government of Norway and UKAID, as they launched a new health cooperative called the Mama Coop.
The Mama Coop focuses primarily on maternal health. In Uganda, more than 100 women die each week during childbirth. The Mama Coop addresses the challenges surrounding this staggering statistic by creating access to and demand for quality healthcare in rural, resource deprived areas in Uganda. The Mama Coop focuses on the needs of pregnant women, women of reproductive age and their families.
During my time, I met with pregnant women, new mothers, healthcare providers, health cooperative members, district health officers, and community leaders. I was encouraged when I heard stories about how membership in the health cooperative and membership in other groups like the Village Savings and Loans Association directly impacted the lives of pregnant women and mothers. And how, because of their membership in these organizations, women were better able to engage in income generating activities and as a result, make smart healthcare decisions for their family and pay school fees for their children. I was also encouraged to hear how some of the healthcare providers are benefiting in that they are able to generate some income to pay for medicine and staff.
Please take a few minutes to watch the video and visit www.healthpartners.coop for more information. If you have a chance, take a look at Saving Lives at Birth, the organization that selected Mama Coop as one of its innovators in their Grand Challenge for Development.