New life giving birth!
This week saw our third Maternity and Paediatric mobile unit take place in partnership with Konbit Sante.
Set up in a disused building with bare concrete walls and not much else in one of the poorer zones of Cap-Haitien, the mobile unit provided a range of valuable services to many pregnant women who may otherwise have received little or no support, subsequently placing both mother and child at great risk.
Welcomed into a medium sized waiting area the women were registered and provided with basic but vital education and information about their pregnancy. One by one they then passed through a series of zones which included a laboratory, family planning counseling area, two consultation rooms and a pharmacy.
All the services were provided free thanks to the generous support of DRI who have partnered with us to implement this urgent work. Every month these mobile clinics will be going to some of the most remote and vulnerable areas providing similar clinics.
Phil Johnson, one of our UK HHA team had the opportunity to visit the clinic, and shared the following…
‘This was a big highlight of my visit as we had talked about this work for so many years. The first impact is that the area is poorly served with roads and the building that was being used was little more than a single story garage with cement block interior wall, no doors or windows were fitted just open spaces. To facilitate a sense of privacy some curtains had been strung up over the doorways and paper signs attached to identify the purpose of the room.
I was so impressed with the sense of order and purpose of the unit. There was clearly a great deal of respect for the work that the medical staff were doing and the mothers were being treated with care. Each patient had their own medical record card which was being completed at each stage of the clinic. Although the setting was crude it was effective, the cost of providing this type of care are very low and by bringing the clinic to the people the costs for the patients are also reduced so more mothers are inclined to attend. I was so happy to be there amongst the medics and the mothers who were making the whole thing work so well.
The site of this project filled me with great joy because we have strived since the 2005 to help reduce maternal and infant mortality, and to see the community work in action like this made me content that we were making a difference.’
Whilst the mobile unit blessed the communities of the North, more exciting work developed on site…our last maternity building reached it’s final stages of construction with the finishing of its roof. As we write, a whole host of eager Haitian builders have been singing in the background, tirelessly working under the midday heat, lifting buckets of concrete onto the roof. Within a few months this last building will be completed and mark the epic end of one chapter in our tale, and the exciting start of a new one. Beyond witnessing the lives of women being saved in the community and the construction of this building, perhaps the most positive, satisfying and exciting reality is that its all been Haitien led, there wasn’t a ‘blanc’ (Haitien word for foreginer) in site. Given the correct support, belief, and empowerment, there’s a lot more this country can do, than many give credit for.