Most of our blogs are about activities at Visitation Clinic This one is different. Its about something we want to do and are trying to figure out how. First some background. Groups like the World Health Organization collect healthcare data from around the world. They track statistics like mortality rates among mothers (MMR) and infants (IMR) and also the fraction of births at home without professional assistance. Not surprisingly, these are all related. For Haiti, the news is both good and bad. The good news is that Haiti's MMR and IMR has dropped by about half over the past forty years. The bad news is that Haiti's is still highest in the Western Hemisphere. Plus, there are big differences between income levels and between urban and rural areas. Our patients are both poor and rural and we estimate over 98% of births occur at home without proper assistance.
|Attendees of Visitation Clinic's first meeting of midwives. (Dr. JF was taking the photo.)|
So we are trying to reach out and help. Earlier this week we organized a rare meeting among some nearby midwives. They reported numerous challenges including minimal training, lack of certifications, no supplies, no ambulances to call upon, ... the list went on and on. The challenge, for us, is that the group estimated that there were about fifty other midwives just in their commune, and there are 37 communes just in the Department we serve. So, this meeting will likely be one of many as we try to get our arms around this problem. We've got some ideas on how to proceed, and we've got a prospective volunteer who is interested in spending a month or so this summer trying to help devise a program. So this is just a first step and we've got work to do. You can help, of course, by donating here.