ADRA's Reproductive Health Programs have benefited 1.6 million people since 1998

Report
from Adventist Development and Relief Agency International
Published on 30 Oct 2002
Silver Spring, Maryland - In mid-October, Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Reproductive Health program managers from Cambodia, Nepal, Malawi, Armenia, Nicaragua, Ethiopia and Guinea met in Malawi to review progress of their programs and plan for the future. Since 1998, ADRA Reproductive Health programs in the seven countries have benefited 1,643,420 people.
ADRA's Reproductive Health programs were started as part of ADRA's participation in the "NGO Networks for Health" initiative. Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), this five-year health initiative increased the capacity of five non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to deliver Reproductive Health care and provide health education. The initiative also promoted greater efficiency in implementation strategies by identifying ways that field offices could conserve resources through cooperative activities. While the five-year "NGO Networks for Health" initiative will conclude in 2003, new sources of funding have been identified to enable the continuance of ADRA's Reproductive Health programs.

"This initiative clearly increased ADRA's capacity to effectively implement and manage programs addressing vital Reproductive Health issues such as HIV/AIDS awareness, safe motherhood, and youth sexual reproductive health," states Debbie Herold, technical advisor for Reproductive Health at ADRA International. "We also learned that collaborations and networks formed at the field level are the most effective means for increasing the delivery of Reproductive Health services."

In its Reproductive Health programs, ADRA works with local communities to identify needs. For instance, when lack of transportation was identified as a critical factor in the health of pregnant women in one community in Malawi, an emergency transport service using bicycle ambulances was created. In Guinea, ADRA worked with communities to set up community insurance programs in which participants paid a monthly fee for medical care or transportation. In Nepal and Cambodia, ADRA organized youth HIV/AIDS awareness clubs. These clubs used drama, posters, music and contests to increase the awareness of youth about prevention strategies.

The need for Reproductive Health programs continues to increase. Currently, one woman dies every minute due to pregnancy or childbirth complication. In addition, more than 40 million people around the world are infected with the HIV virus or are coping with AIDS. AIDS has killed more than 22 million people and orphaned 13.2 million children.

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