UNFPA, Baby Box Co., help Haitian mothers protect their babies during disasters
20 September 2017
20 September 2017
UNITED NATIONS, New York -- Under the joint campaign Safe Birth Even Here, the Ministry of Public Health and Population of Haiti and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, have launched the Baby Box project, a new initiative to allow mothers to protect their infants in harsh situations. The project, which is supported by Johnson & Johnson, will provide 2,500 Baby Boxes to Haitian mothers and babies still living with the consequences of Hurricane Matthew, which devastated much of the South West of the country in October 2016.
Baby Boxes will be distributed to new mothers who have delivered with the support of UNFPA, both in Haiti and other areas affected by natural disasters, which have limited access to maternal health. Johnson & Johnson is also helping UNFPA and the Baby Box Company with distribution.
Baby Boxes will not only help mothers provide a safe space for their infants in a challenging environment, but will also be used to incentivize women to seek pre and post-natal care to improve their health and the health of their babies. Each baby box, usually used as a baby's bed for the first eight months of life, is equipped with a firm waterproof mattress and a blanket. The box also includes items needed by both mother and child in their first months together.
Haiti has the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the Western Hemisphere, with a rate of 359 deaths per 100,000 births in 2015. Following hurricane Matthew, conditions deteriorated significantly, with the destruction of several hospitals providing women vital sexual and reproductive health services. UNFPA is working with the Haitian Government and the humanitarian community to ensure that health needs of more than 546,000 women and girls in areas of Haiti hit by the hurricane are urgently addressed.
"Hurricane Matthew delivered a severe blow to Haiti's health facilities," said Dr. Natalia Kanem, UNFPA Acting Executive Director. “Our task is to protect the reproductive health and rights of women and girls, and ensure that their newborns' basic needs, which are often overlooked in humanitarian situations. UNFPA is working to help women give birth safely and to ensure that newborn babies have the safest possible surroundings to start their lives, despite this tragedy. We greatly value the help of our partners to achieve this.”
"Pregnancy and childbirth monitoring in well-equipped maternities with attentive staff is one of the means by which the Ministry of Public Health and Population aims to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality in Haiti,” said Dr. Marie Greta Roy Clément, Haitian Minister of Health. "In this context, the Baby Box, will contribute to this effort, by encouraging women to visit maternities" added Dr. Clément.
"The Baby Box Company is proud to support UNFPA's outstanding work for vulnerable populations around the world," said Jennifer Clary, CEO of Baby Box Co. "This immediate relief effort of Baby Box in Haiti is paving the way for other global initiatives in collaboration with UNFPA. Properly thought-out, effective and sustainable collaboration is necessary to improve conditions for women and children in Haiti."
UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is a UN international development agency that seeks to achieve a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential fulfilled.
About Safe Birth Even Here
The Safe Birth Even Here campaign aims to raise public awareness regarding the high rate of maternal deaths in emergencies and to increase support to services to protect the rights of women and adolescent girls living in humanitarian and vulnerable environments. It was created in 2012 by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and relaunched in 2016 with the creative talents of the Research Communication Center of Benetton, Fabrica, under the auspices of the Benetton Women's Empowerment Program. Johnson & Johnson works with Safe Birth Even Here as a strategic partner, supporting the campaign around the world.
About Baby Boxes
The use of baby boxes has been associated with Finland's efforts to achieve one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world. The Finnish initiative, which allows all women waiting for a baby in the country to claim a free baby box once they have received prenatal care and parenting information from a health professional, is aiming to help in reducing the infant mortality rate in Finland from 65 deaths per 1,000 children born in 1938 to 2.26 deaths per 1,000 births in 2015.
About the Baby Box Company
Entrepreneurs Michelle Vick and Jennifer Clary founded the Baby Box Company to provide a safe sleeping environment for babies all over the world. Through its academic platform, the Baby Box Company is an innovative and integrated program supporting parents and improving the outcomes of maternal and child health care worldwide. The Baby Box Company is partnering with hospitals, government entities and non-profit organizations to provide baby boxes, quality products, resources and lifelong learning to families on a large scale. Serving families in 52 countries, Baby Box Company has offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Singapore. For more information or to buy a baby box, visit www.babyboxco.com. The academic education resource of the baby box is
About Johnson & Johnson
"Taking care of the world, one person at a time" inspires and unites the people of Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson embraces research and science - bringing innovative ideas, products and services to promote people's health and well-being. Johnson & Johnson has approximately 126,900 employees in more than 250 operating companies working with health care partners to reach the lives of more than one billion people a day worldwide.
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