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IMA is committed to bringing compassionate, life-saving care to women and children in low-resource, neglected areas of the world. We work collaboratively to create tailored programs that best meet the needs of international communities struggling with maternal/infant health issues.


We build capacity of individuals and communities to provide culturally-relevant programs that not only safeguard maternal health but also improve the long-term well-being of the communities in which we work.


Beginning with our efforts in Afghanistan in 2004, IMA has conducted successful projects in three countries.  


  • Working with a group of highly motivated local clinicians, we created a busy birth center which served the internally displaced people who fled to Soroti, Uganda. They had escaped the “Lord’s Resistance Army,” which displaced two million people in Uganda. In a high-risk environment, in a country whose maternal and newborn mortality rates are staggeringly high, The Teso Safe Motherhood clinic achieved outstanding and unparalleled clinical results.

  • The civil war that displaced the people Teso Safe Motherhood is long over. After the clinic closed, some of the previous staff organized a Community Based Organization, the Eema Care Center. Eema is supported by IMA and provides support to the previous Teso Safe Motherhood staff who had the option to pursue the degree program of their choice. These scholarships are comprehensive, no one can fail due to lack of resources. Many staff are pursuing medical degrees and degrees in advanced practice nursing. We trust they will carry what they learned at Teso Safe Motherhood into their schools and beyond.

  • The Eema Care Center also administers the work of Marion Toepke. Marion has been doing research in the rural areas around Soroti. She has been investigating causes of maternal mortality in the rural villages and then developing a variety of resources for these communities.

  • IMA has begun participating in talks about what might be possible to provide midwife educators in Afghanistan. A variety of individuals are discussing what might be developed online, a virtual platform of resources for midwife educators.



What makes IMA programs and projects so effective and durable?


  • We listen to communities. We are innovative. We tell the truth and keep promises.

  • We do a proper needs assessment for any potential new site. 

  • We pride ourselves on being flexible as to the nature of each project. Different communities need different interventions.

  • We work with communities who want us there, communities who are looking for what we do. 

  • We build local capacity. Quality education and training combined with low-tech, highly effective technologies enable local talent to create the kinds of institutions the community needs. Moving from a model of aid to community stabilization creates real sustainability. 


IMA helped to establish the first accredited midwifery school in Afghanistan after the defeat of the Taliban.



The Community Midwife Training Program began in Bamiyan in 2004. In 2006, the first class of 22 midwives completed 18 months of classroom and clinical training, supervised by IMA nurses and midwives. The IMA volunteers brought the Afghan faculty along as well, and the school continues to run well. We are especially proud of the many trained midwives the Bamiyan School has produced. 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 Taliban takeover of August 2021. Since then, communication has been difficult, and we look forward to a time we can go back.

For now we’ve been making progress re-establishing contact with midwife educators in Afghanistan. IMA has been participating in a set of ongoing meetings with the intention of contributing to resources for midwife educators working in Afghanistan. While the project is still taking shape, it looks as though an online platform of resources might be a meaningful goal.


In collaboration with the Colorado Haiti Project, IMA brought Home Based Life Saving Skills trainings to Haiti.

IMA provided staff for the needs assessment, as well as the trainers for the first round of Home Based Life Skills Training in and around the community of Petit Trou de Nippes. The initial trainings were a huge success, and the local women’s groups conducted many additional trainings.


The impact of the trainings in the community was noticed by the Health Ministry and has led to additional support for the area.  


During it's 19 years of operations, Teso Safe Motherhood clinic provided a safe birth for over 15,000 mothers while maintaining a maternal mortality rate of zero.

Warm return to the 
Village Women Conferences

Escaping a brutal civil war in Uganda, 35,000 internally displaced people fled to the small town of Soroti. They overwhelmed an already fragile healthcare system and were in desperate need of maternal/infant health services.


With IMA's mentorship and support, an amazing group of locals developed the Teso Safe Motherhood (TSM). In operation from 2007 to 2023, over 15,000 babies were safely born, close to 100,000 children were vaccinated, around 50,000 people were provided the family planning method of choice. All of these services were provided to the destitute population free of charge.


Between 100 and 150 babies were delivered each month at TSM. In a country where maternal mortality is rising, the Teso Safe Motherhood clinic maintained a maternal mortality rate of ZERO.


As the Teso Safe Motherhood clinic was closing, a few outstanding staff members worked to incorporate a new organization, a Community Based Organization (CBO). They have named their organization “Eema Care Center.” “Eema” is of course another spelling of “IMA,” alliterations of the Hebrew word for mother. The Eema Center will begin with two projects. One focuses on continuing to improve the quality of maternal/infant health through education, the other is continued support for the work of Marion Toepke.

The education project provides for people who staffed the Teso Safe Motherhood clinic. Most nurtured dreams of furthering their education. Many want to be doctors and advanced practice nurses. They will receive full scholarships to the schools of their choice. The support will be comprehensive, no one will fail due to lack of resources, be it help with a health problem, books, room and board, they will receive complete scholarships. The Eema office will monitor their progress and do all the administrative and accounting work.


Marion Toepke, CNM, has spent years conducting scholarly research into maternal mortality in the remote, rural villages that surround Soroti. She has also created, and continues to create, resources for those communities to address maternal mortality. The Eema Center will provide the administrative structure for her work to continue.

Marion Toepke is returning to the villages where she conducted her research on maternal mortality. She is presenting her results to the people as well as offering interventions and support from Teso Safe Motherhood.

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