Of the more than 130 million births occurring each year, an estimated 303,000 result in the mother’s death, 2.6 million in stillbirth, and another 2.7 million in newborn death. The majority of these fatalities occur in poor communities in developing countries and the majority are largely avoidable.

Women and Children First is an international development organisation dedicated to addressing these issues. Established in 2001, the NGO has an excellent track record of working with partners to deliver projects which have a proven impact on maternal and newborn health. It works primarily through women’s groups in rural communities in the poorest parts of Africa and Asia.

Our approach is simple and effective. We support women to take control of their own and their newborn babies’ health by learning and acting together in women’s groups. We work with our partners to educate women about how to maintain their own health before, during and after pregnancy and how to care for their new baby. We make women aware of simple practices such as giving birth in a hygienic environment, keeping an umbilical cord clean, and identifying infections which - if not treated quickly and effectively - could be fatal.

We promote breastfeeding to ensure mothers give their babies the best start in life and encourage women to attend ante-natal and post-natal check-ups and give birth with a skilled birth attendant rather than with untrained traditional birth attendants.

This new knowledge and understanding, and being part of a group, empowers women to identify and prioritise their maternal and newborn health problems, and work out low cost solutions which they can implement themselves with locally available resources. These include setting up vegetable gardens to ensure women have the food they need to stay healthy during pregnancy or establishing a village fund to pay for emergency transport to a clinic or hospital.

Did you know...

Most of the common causes of maternal and newborn deaths can be addressed through low-cost, low-tech means though womens groups. Women and Children First helps women to know what to do. We improve pregnant women’s knowledge and support them to improve their health during pregnancy, give birth in a health facility and know how to look after their newborn baby properly. What each woman learns is shared with her friends and family and life-saving information is spread throughout her community.

Women and Children First is celebrating 15 years of saving mothers and babies lives. We are proud to announce we have saved at least 6,000 lives since 2002.

What makes Women and Children First UK

Our womens groups approach is simple and cost effective. We have high level, global recognition for our work. The World Health Organisation has recommended our women’s groups approach as an effective intervention to improve maternal and newborn health and recognises their cost-effectiveness and ability to reduce maternal mortality by up to 49% and newborn mortality by up to 33%.

Other ways to support

By signing up to our newsletter via our website and spreading the word about our work.


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Contact Number

020 7700 6309