Combatting maternal and infant mortality in Togo
In 2021, while pregnant with her last child, Rose heard about SOS Children’s Villages program Baby Moto, aimed at providing medical assistance to remote communities and educating women on maternal and child health issues. Launched in Togo in 2017, Baby Moto also works with young people on the topic of sexual and reproductive health, through sensitizing sessions and regular training.
“I earned very little money at the time, and my husband was jobless. Baby Moto helped me go through my last pregnancy in a completely different way, with a relaxed and joyful state of mind,” says Rose. As a participant in the Baby Moto program, Rose had regular access to medications, ultrasound scanning, and testing. “That was the first and only pregnancy that I experienced without fear and stress.”
Amanvi Dare Odah, mid-wife for the Baby Moto project, says a key benefit of the program has been educating mothers on having healthy pregnancies. “If mothers are healthy, their children are healthy and can grow up as they should.”
Malnutrition is also another issue that Baby Moto is there to help address. Jacques was 3 months old when his mother, Ahoefa, met staff from SOS Children’s Villages. His severe malnutrition had put his life at risk. “The doctors told me to pray for my son to survive because there was not much else, they could do to save him,” says Ahoefa. “The Baby Moto’s team took the situation in hand, providing Jacques with the medical support, medications and food supplies he urgently needed. My son would have died if the program did not exist.”
Jacques survived and he is now a healthy 6-month-old boy, with a cheeky smile on his face.
Along with medical care, Baby Moto gives nutrition training to mothers to guide them in the preparation of healthy and nutritious meals for their children, especially newborns. “I have learnt to make an enriched flour - by mixing moringa, soja, maize and sugar - that is very filling, and my child loves it,” says Ahoefa.
This phase of the Baby Moto program aims to provide healthcare to over 700 children, 600 pregnant women, and 900 breastfeeding mothers between 2020-2024. The ambitious future of this project is looking to expand the training and education, delivering family planning, active fatherhood, and sexual and reproductive health sessions.