Our mission is to raise the standard of maternal/infant care in areas experiencing crisis in maternal/infant health.
We envision a world in which every woman has access to a qualified attendant and lifesaving resources throughout her pregnancy and birth.
We are committed to bringing equal access to healthcare to women all over the world, regardless of where they live. Our work is grounded in the belief that all women have an equal right to a safe pregnancy and childbirth, and it is unacceptable for women to live in fear for their lives when most pregnancy related complications, including death, are preventable.
We are committed to saving lives and improving the quality of life for women around the globe.
No community should have to deal with a greater disease burden or have access to less basic healthcare than any other. The world’s poor are overwhelmingly burdened by disease and injury and are shockingly absent from access to treatment.
COMPASSION & HUMAN DIGNITY
We believe it is crucial to model respect for human life, to demonstrate compassion for all women and infants and to value the dignity of all people regardless of the ways people can differ from one another.
To accomplish our mission we must be accountable to the people we serve. We are transparent in our actions, well organized in our work, fiscally responsible and practice effective, proven healthcare technologies.
Our projects are built to endure. We design and nurture each program to autonomy.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
We engage the community by providing training for local practitioners. We teach low-tech yet highly effective methodologies to increase capacity where problems exist.
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Born in 2003 and incorporated in 2004, IMA was created by a group of Colorado women alarmed by the dismal state of maternal/child health in Afghanistan. Conceived by Colorado writer and activist Jennifer Heath, IMA was implemented by Carmela Weber, who later became IMA’s board president, and midwives Jan Lapetino and Jennifer Braun, today IMA’s executive director. Together, they traveled to Afghanistan in 2004.
Soon afterward, IMA began working in Bamiyan, Afghanistan training midwives. Students for the Community Midwife Training Program were recruited from rural villages to participate in the 18-month midwife training program, with a commitment to return to their homes to practice.
IMA midwives participated as technical advisors, instructors who provided vital clinical mentorship, as well as modeling kindness, compassion and strong ethics for the students, supporting the development of high-quality solo practitioners. The first 22 midwives graduated in early 2006. Today, the graduates continue to practice in rural Bamiyan Province, and many are the only health care provider in their communities. When IMA arrived in Afghanistan, the country's maternal mortality ratio was the highest in the world. That was mostly due to a lack of skilled care providers. Since midwifery education was established, Afghanistan no longer appears on the list of top ten countries with the highest maternal mortality. The Bamiyan Community Midwife Training Program, thrived up until the second Taliban take-over. We look forward to the day we can return to Bamiyan.
In 2007 IMA initiated a project in Soroti, Uganda that became the Teso Safe Motherhood clinic. The need for the project was caused by the devastation wrought by Joseph Kony’s “Lord’s Resistance Army.” Two million Ugandans were displaced, and more than 35,000 of them ran to Soroti. Teso Safe Motherhood provided health care to those marginalized, impoverished people. During its 16-year duration, the clinic provided safe births for more than 15 thousand mothers and babies. Almost 50 thousand people were provided with their birth control method of choice, and close to 100 thousand children were vaccinated. All these services were provided free of charge and done with quality and kindness. Teso Safe Motherhood was a center of excellence and its impact as a vision of what is possible in health care is felt throughout the region.
The conflict that displaced the people we served in Soroti is long over. As well, political changes have made Uganda a more challenging environment. IMA has focused on continuing to improve maternal/infant health services thereby sponsoring the people who staffed Teso Safe Motherhood to attend the school of their choice. A small Community Based Organization, Eema Care Center, has been incorporated through a partnership between IMA and Soroti community members. Eema Care Center will provide the administrative support the students will need and the administrative framework for IMA’s financial support. The sponsorship students receive is comprehensive and goes beyond tuition. No one will fail due to lack of resources. We are confident these talented and deserving adult learners will become tremendous doctors, advanced practice nurses, and administrators.