- About Us
- Our Approach
- Where We Work
Photo Credit: Phil Bowen
Reducing poverty and improving quality of life requires healthy community members. In Africa, much work remains to reach this objective. Throughout the continent, women face a 1 in 15 risk of dying from maternal causes. As late as the mid-2000s, 175 of every 1,000 children born in Africa were dying before their fifth birthday. Malnutrition rates remain high, and diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis continue to ravage the continent.
Continued high population growth rates in sub-Saharan Africa undermine the best efforts to improve the standards of living and reduce poverty. WellShare is working overseas to develop family planning programs that can keep community populations in check and improve the health outcomes of the individuals who live and work there.
Child spacing is also important domestically. In Minnesota, WellShare is working with Somali communities to teach families the importance of child spacing to improve the health of its youngest members.
In May 2012 WellShare International and the Karen Organization of Minnesota initiated a partnership to better understand family planning practices and learn what services might be helpful in the Karen community. The Karen are an ethnic group from Burma and Thailand who were persecuted by the Burmese government and lived in refugee camps for years before being resettled in the U.S. There are approximately 6,500 Karen living in Minnesota. St. Paul has the largest and fastest-growing Karen population in the U.S.
In Uganda, the average woman will give birth to seven children. The country’s population increases by one million people a year, yet only one in four Ugandans uses a family planning method. WellShare’s family planning program in the Ssembabule and Mubende districts of Uganda, increased access to, use of, and quality of family planning services. Read More
The Somali Child Spacing Project began in 2004 with funding from Minnesota Department of Health’s Family Planning Special Projects. The project aims to provide culturally appropriate reproductive health education and resources to the Somali community in Minnesota and to the health care providers who serve them. Read More
As part of WellShare’s five-year Child Survival Project in Tanzania, WellShare has incorporated a family planning component. In late 2008, WellShare completed renovations on the first Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Center in Karatu Town, Tanzania. The center provides space for postnatal counseling and health education, which includes family planning education for mothers and their partners. Read more.