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Living Proof: Egypt – Newlyweds
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Living Proof: Egypt – Newlyweds
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MDG 5: Improve Maternal Health
Reaching out to Egyptian women and couples as they are about to get married, a new program educates newlyweds and women about pregnancy, labor, and newborn healthcare. This vital information is improving infant health outcomes.
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Produced by Living Proof. For more information, go to ONE.org/livingproof.

 

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Segment 1

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Challenge: Many Egyptian women lack proper pre- and post-natal care
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Solution: Make weddings a time to discuss maternal and newborn health.
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Can teaching newlyweds make healthier babies?
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Traditional wedding celebration, Village of Gayera, Upper Egypt
VIKKI STEIN [USAID]
Young couples in Egypt want to try to have a family or begin their family right after marriage. So, within a very short amount of time, women and men are experiencing their first pregnancy, they're experiencing their first birth, and they're raising their baby. These are all very critical health moments for a family, and women as a group when they're having their pregnancy, are seen as a high-risk group. You see women giving birth outside the medical facility. You see malnutrition, you see underweight babies, and so the newlywed initiative looks to give young families, young couples, the information they need to get off to a healthy start.
MEDIHA ATTEYA [Newlywed]
It taught me the danger signs during pregnancy. Like, if I started bleeding, if I don't gain weight, or if I get a fever, I have to go to the doctor right away.
VIKKI STEIN
A couple like Saad and Mediha and Kenna, participate in this program on a number of levels. They have a community health worker come and visit them and bring them information about the community health program, and also invite them to participate in community activities.
WARDA HAMED ALY [Community Health Worker]
Don't have kids, one right after another. Space them out. We've made progress. In the past, our mothers used to have kids by the dozen, and that's why this country has so much poverty.
HAJJA OM EZZ ABDU MAHMA [Saad's mother]
In my day, it was different. I had nine children at home: six girls and three boys, just like that. I didn't have a doctor.
SAAD MOHD SAYED
Everyone goes to the hospital now.
MEDIHA ATTEYA
Having a baby at home is dangerous. What if I start hemorrhaging? Nothing but the hospital will save me.
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Newlywed Initiative women's meeting
DOAA MEABED SAYED [Instructor]
I welcome you once again to the Arab Women Speaks.
VIKKI STEIN
In the Arab Women Speak Out classes, women are taught about women's empowerment issues. They're taught men and women both need to be involved, and they both have an important role.
DOAA MEABED SAYED
If a younger brother is thirsty, the mother says, "Get up, girl, and get your brother a glass of water." Is this the way to bring up our children? The most important thing I focus on is to make a happy family. We're here to modify everyone's behavior. To make happier and healthier families.
MEN
Congratulations!
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Living Proof: Real Lives. Real Progress.
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Since the Newlywed Initiative began in 2004, 30 percent more pregnant women have proper prenatal care, 14 percent more mothers have medically assisted births, 27 percent fewer babies and young children are underweight.
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Living Proof: Real Lives. Real Progress. www.one.org/livingproof