Why We Developed the Mother and Child Health Series

BY GARY W. SELNOW, Ph.D., WiRED INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR

 

I worked my way through college many years ago as a disc jockey. Listeners would often phone the station with requests for a favorite song; I recall how satisfying it was to find the tune and play it for them on the air. It wasn’t very satisfying, though, to search the music archives and come up empty-handed.

 

Jumping ahead several decades, and on matters much more consequential than a record request, my work on behalf of WiRED took me to many of the world’s challenging, low-resource regions. Meeting with local physicians, clinics and non-governmental organizations, I often got requests for health learning topics we didn’t have in our module collection. That’s worrying when you consider WiRED is the only source of health information in many of the communities we serve. As it turns out, the most frequent requests in places everywhere had to do with the health of pregnant women, mothers and young children.

 

And so, two years ago, WiRED’s staff set out to develop a comprehensive, 24-part training series covering topics ranging from family planning to the fifth year of a child’s life. The series divides Mother and Child Health topics into four parts. Each part provides information about disease prevention, healthy behaviors and practices and problems to watch for. These modules enable parents to make better choices and to give their children a healthy start in life.

 

For years, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and other international organizations have put mother and child health at the top of their watch list. They have invested heavily in research and outreach programs and continue to develop strategies to assist mothers and children in underserved regions.

 

WiRED International, a small non-profit organization, doesn’t have the resources of these large institutions, but our volunteer staff is as committed as any to helping people plan families, experience healthy pregnancies, have safe deliveries and provide the best care for young children. Our focus is health learning — giving people the tools to make informed decisions. Our latest contribution — this comprehensive Mother and Child Health Series — like all of WiRED’s 400+ modules, is available online and through our HealthMAP program, which allows people to download the learning modules to use themselves and share with others. All our material is offered without cost.

 

Even though this series represents a sweeping response to the most common concerns expressed to us, our phone lines are always open to listeners with additional requests.

 

 

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