Health and social support systems for pregnant women and infants are often difficult to access and unavailable, especially in Roma communities. Roma women also have lower pregnancy weight gain rates than recommended. The infant mortality rate is also up to three times higher for Roma women than for non-Roma women. Roma children also do not receive adequate early childhood care.
Region: Košice Region
Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy
Fields of action: Non-formal education, Health, Care
Project owner: Asociácia pre kultúru, vzdelávanie a komunikáciu/Association for Culture, Education and Communication (ACEC)
Responsible person: Tomáš Ondačka
We work and provide care for pregnant women and newborn infants at home and in the hospital. By involving women from communities with hospital staff, Mission 1000 improves Roma mothers’ access to healthcare and the health of their babies.
Interventions are carried out by trained voluntary health mediators, or “babice” (midwives), who come from the communities they work in and support. The babice spread awareness, provide prenatal preparation and care for newborn infants, mediate between women and healthcare providers. They work in cooperation with hospitals, municipalities, community centres, and social workers.
The education, support, and outreach we provide expectant mothers directly impacts the health and future of their child. Mission 1000 alleviates the burden on paediatric and OBGYN wards of local hospitals; the programme also prevents discrimination and barriers to accessing healthcare.
Mission 1000 can be implemented and applied to other marginalised communities outside the region. Proper preparation during pregnancy, childbirth and childcare, as well as support for mothers and their children, should be the focus of every society.