This month we are re-connecting with Concern Universal a superb charity we have already found to be efficient and trustworthy. Some of their work is in South Kenya, where the rural population has very limited access to healthcare and health education. In this area there are a high number of women dying during pregnancy or from birth complications. The latter also raise levels of infant mortality and disability in surviving babies. Some of the problems are the result of social practices, such as women eating much less than they normally would during pregnancy, in the belief that this will result in a small baby and therefore an easier birth. 
Concern Universal is addressing these problems through the use of a small team to work with local existing community health workers. The project provides training on breast feeding, maternal nutrition before and after delivery and the use of milk and vegetables in the family diet. Some of the latter are provided directly by the project. The mothers do not have to travel long distances to access health care, as the community health workers go to them. These workers supply vitamin supplements and educate mothers on ‘things to watch for’. When necessary, they ensure that additional medical attention is received. 
These improvements in care and advice to local people are aimed at increasing birth weight and reducing the risk of both maternal and infant mortality and disability. Currently the project offers this extra provision to over 71,000 women and children at a cost of just £4.35 per family. This means our fundraising in May will help these community health workers reach over 500 families.