Treating and Training Mothers

June 7, 2013 • Haiti

Our Maternal Child Health team saves lives at our clinic in Trou Chouchou, Haiti as mothers and their children struggle to access health care from their remote communities.

By Brianna Wilson, medical program manager in Haiti

Johanne Louis is a 27-year-old woman who visited our clinic in Trou Chouchou for prenatal care just after it opened. She had a normal first pregnancy and delivery at home so she decided to deliver at home for this child as well. In this community, most women deliver at home because health facilities are difficult to access due to the distance and poor state of the roads.

On December 3, she went into labor and a midwife spent the night with her. By the next morning, the midwife recognized that there was a problem and knew that Johanne needed to get to a health facility to see a doctor.

Because only motorcycles and donkeys are able to travel on the road, they could not find a ride for her to a hospital. Fortunately, our Maternal Child Health team was working in a nearby community and was able to send a driver and vehicle to pick Johanne up and bring her to the hospital. An emergency cesarean section was performed that morning and a healthy baby girl was born.

The doctors at the hospital told Johanne that both she and her baby would have died if she hadn’t come to the hospital. They were treated at the Trou Chouchou clinic after the delivery, and both mother and baby were healthy.

6-10-13-SP-blog-1101HT-E-100We also had another success story come out of our clinic earlier in the year. One of the Maternal Child Health teams was teaching a group in the community of Chavane in Leogane. The women in the class were particularly keen and eager to learn. Just after the class ended for the week, one of the participants, Stephanie, went into labor, and according to what they had learned, the community organized for her to be taken to a hospital for the delivery.

She had an uncomplicated delivery and was discharged the same day. Hours later, the baby developed a breathing problem. The mother called the Maternal Child Health trainers for advice. The trainers were in the area and went to visit the mother and brought them both to hospital when they realized how sick the baby was.

The next time our medical team was in the area, they visited the new mom and baby to find them both in good health.

The trainers were able to reinforce what they had taught the women in recognizing a sick infant and bringing her to hospital.

We praise God that the clinic and our health team are making a real difference in the lives of mothers and babies in the area.