The Mama Ambassador Program (MAP) is an initiative of Brick by Brick Uganda’s Babies and Mothers Alive (BAMA) Program. With support from Grand Challenges Canada’s Saving Brains Program, our goal is to improve the health and well-being for the 2,000 adolescent mothers and babies who deliver each year in Uganda’s Rakai and Kyotera Districts. Through use of the BAMA Program’s existing Mentor Midwives and model mothers, Mama Ambassadors, the project will specifically identify, track, and provide both institutional and monthly peer-group support for adolescent mothers at Rakai Hospital to improve their well-being and stimulate their infants’ early brain development. Midwives and Mama Ambassadors will be trained in adolescent-friendly reproductive, antenatal care and postnatal care, which will be available in our districts for the first time. In order to improve the quality of newborn care, we will be establishing newborn intensive care units at our two district hospitals.
Our program focuses on providing emotional support for an especially vulnerable population of adolescent mothers. The goal of our monthly peer groups is to improve the wellbeing of young mothers and the normal development of their babies through play, communication, kangaroo care, breastfeeding and good nutrition. Our program will also actively engage fathers and extended family who will support our mothers.
In Uganda 24% of adolescents become pregnant before the age of 19. Adolescents face a much higher risk of death and injury due to complications of pregnancy. In fact, these complications are the leading cause of death among women ages 15-19 globally. 3.9 million unsafe abortions are performed on adolescents each year, which poses a threat to the life and health of these young women.
At Brick by Brick we believe that access to quality reproductive, maternal and newborn healthcare is a human right. Every day our BAMA team is working alongside the staff of our 48 partnering health facilities to improve the quality of care for mothers and their babies. This year, with the support of the Saving Brains Program, we will begin to address the needs of one of the most underserved group of women, adolescent mothers.
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