ADRA-UK responds to 2021 World Health Day
Hippocrates, dubbed the father of modern medicine said, ‘health is the greatest of human blessings’. And, during the past year, health has dominated news reports, government briefings, company agendas and daily chitchat. COVID-19 has ‘focused’ our imaginations and our conversations.
But there are a plethora of world-wide health concerns, outside of coronavirus, that present daily challenge for millions of people around the world. These health issues existed prior to the introduction of the novel virus and will remain with us, when the virus is history.
In the developing world, many people are suffering from malaria, dengue fever and Ebola, as well as the diseases caused by malnutrition and inaccessibility to clean drinking water. In the developed world, people suffer from the obesity and its related co-morbidities. However, there is growing evidence that poverty in countries such as the UK are also causing poor health outcomes.
‘Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone’ is the theme of the 2021 World Health Day commemorated on the 7th April.
As an humanitarian agency, ADRA seeks to promote good health and wellbeing for all its beneficiaries, both at home and abroad.
One area of health that ADRA-UK has addressed successfully is maternal health. One such project was the Improved maternal health care services for 7,500 women of childbearing age in Gokwe, North Province, Zimbabwe.
ADRA’s reach in Gokwe North, Zimbabwe extended far beyond the project’s timeline because we sought to change negative behavioural practices and attitudes towards positive behavioural practices and attitudes around maternal health.
ADRA needed to infiltrate the systematic cultural nuances which lacked trust in the health system, a health system which was working to heal and protect, not kill. We needed to challenge the perspectives and thoughts of Village Heads and husbands regarding the conditions that make a safe delivery, safe.
We acknowledged the community’s fears surrounding young women dying during birth and openly discussed past experiences and pain. At the end of the project, we collectively agreed a healthy mother equates to a healthy baby. An educated mother equates to a healthy growing baby. A strong and utilised health system equates to a healthy community.
We recognised the incredible work contributed by our team of health experts in Zimbabwe. As a result of their efforts, the responsibility of good maternal health care practices now lies with the community and their local health clinics.
ADRA’s motto is Justice, Compassion and Love. In 2021, we want to continue to build a safer, fairer world for the millions of people who are in distress. The impact of coronavirus has wiped out many of the health gains in struggling communities and these issues urgently need to be addressed.
Our projects allows us to create impactful solutions to societal challenges by directly working with those with lived experiences as well as partnering with other agencies to bright about sustainable change.
Your continued support and donations to ADRA-UK will help us to support our work around good health and wellbeing, which is embedded into all of our projects. For more information see ‘Our Work‘.
Written by: Catherine Boldeau (Development Education Officer and ‘I AM Urban’ lead) and Milimo Ninvalle (Senior Programmers Officer)