NEW YORK — Family Care International is an organization that works toward creating a safer environment for women while giving birth. Many women in the Western world take for granted the clean and safe hospitals they have access to during birth. However, many women in lower-income countries lose their lives in the birthing process.
Family Care International was established in 1986 to fight for the issue of safe motherhood to be included in the world’s agenda. FCI believes in a “world where no woman suffers preventable injury or death from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes and in which all people are able to enjoy their sexual and reproductive health and rights.”
The organization bases its operations on two ideas: advocacy and local action. FCI uses political force to change laws relating to reproductive health and works to garner support in the international community while working on the ground with women giving birth.
FCI has existed for over 25 years, which means it already achieved many accomplishments.
In regard to advocacy, FCI tries to get involved in a wide range of organizations, but focuses especially on its alliance with the U.N.
In April 2014, the FCI was invited to the U.N. Commission on Population and Development meeting. It worked with the U.N. in forming new resolutions on issues of women’s health. In 2005, FCI was successful in urging the U.N. to include maternal health in the U.N. Millennium Development Goals.
FCI started the Women Deliver conference in 2007. This is an advocacy group that spreads knowledge about maternal health around the world.
In addition, FCI publishes studies in medical journals and the organization’s leaders often give talks on their work and the importance of reproductive health.
On the ground, FCI works to educate and mobilize local communities to give women better access to prenatal and postnatal heath. It empowers women, and educates them about their reproductive rights.
FCI has also worked to decrease the instance of post-partum hemorrhaging, one of the many reasons for maternal mortality. Working with other organizations in Senegal, it promoted the use of two drugs, misoprostol or oxytocin, to prevent PPH.
The organization had people in isolated communities educate local pregnant women about clinics where these drugs were available. In the towns where studies were being conducted, PPH decreased from 10 to one percent.
In 2012, FCI received the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. The prize money was $1 million. FCI used this money to increase its financial stability, hoping to sustain its programs for the long term.
Family Care International is an organization with decades of experience and recognition within the international community.
– Eleni Lentz-Marino