In Ukraine, hospital services are free but, as in other former Communist countries, you receive a bill for drugs, food, and equipment used during the hospital stay. Supplies for a birth may cost up to $26. This may sound extraordinarily cheap in America but in Ukraine this can be a weeks wages. If you are so fortunate as to have a job at all.
Mission Without Borders MotherCare program provides medical advice, "reusable nappies, ointments, baby clothes, nutritious food supplements and feminine hygiene goods" as well as a place to discuss concerns and support each other in a gospel-centered environment. Food and clothing for the new mother and baby may be provided as well.
The souring world economy and rising prices (Ukraine had 9.8% inflation in 2010) have taken a toll on all but the poor and those least able to provide for themselves (pregnant mothers) are bearing the full force of the fallout.
Expecting a baby should be a time of joy and thankfulness not a time of dread and worry. All babies deserve to be born healthy and welcomed into the world with happiness.
On a recent visit, a MWB coordinator fought back her tears..
"In previous years, I could distribute 600 parcels each year.
Now I can only distribute 200 parcels. How am I supposed to choose?"
What Would You Do?
Pray for the workers in Ukraine as they struggle to meet the physical and spiritual needs of new mothers and families.
Below you can read the latest 2011 Mission Without Borders newsletter from the UK: