As families across Australia prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, CARE Australia is calling on sons and daughters across the country to give their mums a CAREgift (www.caregifts.org.au) that will help save the lives of expectant mums in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Every day in PNG an estimated five women die in childbirth and 60 per cent of pregnant women do not give birth at a hospital or health facility.
CARE’s assistant country director in PNG, Blossum Gilmour said CARE was working to train Village Health Volunteers to lower the number of women and newborns who die or are injured during childbirth.
‘A CAREgift to Train and Equip a Village Health Volunteer costs $50 and is the gift every mother deserves. Mums in Australia will appreciate the need to support expectant mothers from their first trimester, while women in PNG will benefit from healthier pregnancies and safer deliveries.
‘CARE is training Village Health Volunteers to encourage and accompany expectant mums to a health facility to receive antenatal care, promote good nutrition, advocate for appropriate treatment of the woman and her baby, and provide moral support throughout the pregnancy and following the birth.’
This weekend, CARE will host five community events in PNG’s Eastern Highlands to celebrate Mother’s Day.
‘Each of the family events will feature fun activities for children such as sack races and tug-of-war, but the day will have a specific focus to promote healthy pregnancies amongst mums and dads. We have created stickers that will be distributed, encouraging women to visit their health clinic early in their first trimester. We know that many women in rural areas don’t see a health practitioner until late into their pregnancy, when it is already too late to treat conditions such as anaemia.
‘The stickers also encourage pregnant women to eat a good diet of local vegetables. Women often prioritise the wellbeing of their families over their own, but we are encouraging them to make sure they eat a healthy diet especially while pregnant,’ Ms Gilmour added.
In addition to Train and Equip a Village Health Volunteer, the CAREgifts range has 40 other life-changing gifts priced from $10 to $2,500 that can help lift women and their families out of poverty. Popular gifts this Mother’s Day include Clean Water for a Family for $60 and Help a Child Survive to Five for $73.
Shoppers can order their CAREgifts online at www.caregifts.org.au or call 1800 020 046. They will receive a beautiful e-card to send to their mum with a video of their CAREgift at work.
CARE Australia is an international humanitarian aid organisation fighting poverty, with a special focus on working with women and girls to bring lasting change to their communities. www.care.org.au
Media interviews with CARE staff in Papua New Guinea and Australia are available. For more information please contact CARE Australia Senior Media Officer Helen Walsh on 03 9009 7121 or 0449 908 667.