Ukraine’s maternal mortality rate is 4-5 times higher than in neighboring European countries, with postpartum hemorrhage as the main cause of maternal death. In fact, the death rate from postpartum hemorrhage is 16 times higher in Ukraine than in the countries of the European Union.
About one-third of pregnancies in Ukraine end in abortion, mostly due to the ineffective use of modern family planning methods. Myths and misinformation about family planning are the major barriers to couples using modern contraception such as pills and IUDs.
JSI has been working in Ukraine since 1994 to increase access to high-quality maternal and newborn health care, women’s reproductive health care, and family planning services. Today, JSI manages the USAID-funded Healthy Women of Ukraine program, which is increasing the use of modern contraceptives as an alternative to unintended pregnancies and associated abortions.
In 2007, JSI helped found JSI Ukraine, an independently registered local nongovernmental organization. Over the years, JSI Ukraine has received funding from several public and private sector entities to work in maternal health and family planning. In April 2014, Merck for Mothers Global Giving Program awarded a three-year project to JSI Ukraine to reduce postpartum hemorrhage in two regions of the country. As larger international donors phase out health funding for Ukraine, JSI Ukraine’s ability to continue this work is critically important.