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Improve Haitian Maternal/Infant Survival and Life Quality

ID:
4816

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Our goal
End the choice between food & diapers for 500 Haitian Moms & Babies
The Challenge

Challenge

In the mountains of Haiti, baby Duymay is born. Sophie (Duymay's Mom), Duymay, and 5 other family members live in a house made of mud and bricks, and water is a 20 minute walk away. Sophie's family earns a meager income of less than $1/day by farming beans and corn. Living in extreme poverty it is a struggle to make ends meet. This struggle means Sophie must choose between food for the family, and diapers for Duymay. 

This unthinkable choice happens everyday for many rural Haitian families, just like Duymay's. Imagine re-using a disposable diaper or going without - simply because you can't afford the basic need of diapers. 

In Haiti, inadequate diapering is a huge contributor to diarrhea and worm infestations. At home, most children are left without diapers and exposed to unsanitary conditions as well as worms and parasites that live in the dirt. Parasite and worm infestations can lead to diarrhea, poor appetite, anemia, intestinal obstruction and malnutrition.

Solution

Just 12 cloth diapers can diaper a baby from infancy through potty-training, meaning these babies can finally have diapers, instead of going without. These kits will be distributed to new Moms returning to the clinics at Children's Health Ministries and at Real Hope for Haiti for checkups after they give birth at home. 

By returning to the clinic for a check up/well-baby visit, both Moms and babies can be evaluated for preventative care and early intervention to prevent malnutrition. This includes breastfeeding education and assistance. Also, infections can be caught and treated in early stages, thus reducing maternal mortality and morbidity. Given the long, many hours walk these Moms must make to do this, the cloth diaper kits provide an extra incentive for them to come to the clinic. 

That's not all. By having a supply of diapers, these babies will actually have real diapers, as opposed to makeshift diapers or no diapers at all. This means when they are sick, they can go to the clinic for a checkup, as diapers are required. Without diapers, they can't access medical care. Without medical care, poor health outcomes happen. 

This is one of the moms, and her diaper kit! The diaper kit contains 12 prefolds, 2 covers, cloth wipes, and a wetbag. Here's a picture to help understand what is inside a kit: The white fabric is a prefold, the aborbent part. The colorful pieces are the covers (or outer shells), the waterproof part of the diaper. The wetbag can be seen in the above picture: note that it's waterproof! 

Diapers are an integral part of disease prevention. Every day, nearly 1000 children die from diarrheal diseases related to sanitation and water, according to the UN. Cloth diapers can help contain feces, thus reducing spread of fecally communicable diseases. Furthermore, basic sanitation and hygiene is vastly improved. These families that are receiving these kits live in extreme poverty, struggling to afford food. Without these diapers, they will go without. Imagine daily care activities, and a diaper-less infant. Diapers are such a basic, and tremendously overlooked need. It's also a topic many people are uncomfortable discussing. 

Our local partner agencies are Children's Health Ministries and Real Hope for Haiti, who educate parents on hand washing, sanitation,  diapering, and additional hygiene. The goal of this project is to help provide the basic tool of cloth diapers to help improve maternal and infant health outcomes. 

How You Can Help Sophie, Duymay, and other Moms & Babies just like them:

$113 will provide enough cloth diapers for one more child.

$50 will transport a suitcase of diapers.

$20 buys a cloth diaper, replacing the need for over 500 disposable diapers.

Share Sophie & Duymay's story with a friend. 

Contact Stephanie Bowers, co-founder of  Jake's Diapers, at stephanie@jakesdiapers.org to learn more and become a Change Champion. For Duymay. For Sophie. And other Moms and babies in need. 

Let’s keep working together to solve diaper need, one cloth diaper, one child, at a time. Thank you! 

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    Our milestones
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    • Amanda

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    • Richard

    • Becky

    • Kristin

    • Kristina

    • Jenny

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