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, thriving to this day, has produced more than 2% of the midwives in Afghanistan.
In 2007, IMA joined the Colorado Haiti Project in the Petit Trou de Nippes region – a rural area plagued by severe need for all basic services. IMA midwives both helped conduct the initial needs assessment and implement Home Based LIfe Saving Skills (HBLSS), a family focused training and community mobilization program to teach measures to prevent and manage common obstetric emergencies.
Today IMA works in Soroti, Uganda, providing health care to the marginalized, impoverished and most vulnerable population living in and around Soroti, including many former internally displaced persons. The birth center and clinic, the Teso Safe Motherhood Project (TSMP) offers women and their babies free comprehensive medical care, including prenatal, birth services, HIV/AIDS testing and treatment, family planning and childhood vaccinations. TSMP is the only clinic in the region that tests and treats women for cervical cancer.