Seeing our team in Niger was pretty wonderful after three long years. Rabi, who we are putting through midwife school, takes time off from that to continue running our programs at Tamesna.
Our plan was to have our local staff do the training under the supervision of Dr. Becky, Pat and Jennifer. So the first day was spent bringing the trainers up to speed with new medical protocols and new tools for training.
The program started out reviewing antenatal care—illustrated in the foldout card created by Pat and Dr. Becky, produced by Pat and funded by Ojai Rotary club.
Recognizing danger signs in advance is crucial. Since high blood pressure is among the least visible and most dangerous, taking blood pressure is a skill the team was anxious to impart. Taking blood pressure is something that many believed was beyond the illiterate nomadic women we train, but we proved them wrong.
Through Jennifer’s efforts we were awarded a generous donation from Laerdal of three MamaBirthie pelvic mannequins. These were used extensively during our trainings.
Films have become a regular part of our training. Global Health Media and Medical Aid Films have produced films on many health-related subjects and posted them for anyone’s use. They have agreed to let us translate the ones we need into Tamachek and Fulfulde so the nomadic women can understand them without the need for translation—a slow and cumbersome process.
After four intense days of training, we prepared their bags according to the number of births they reported. This has become a pretty big job with the increase in numbers of trainees.
Moussa Agolaze has been a valuable help since the Center for nomadic life opened. His two mother’s in law are two of our best matrones and soon one of his wives will start her training. Because of his knowledge of the languages and the program he helps us out with testing comprehension of the use and dosage of the medications they are to receive. If they do not pass the test they do not receive the meds.
Each trainee had to prove her understanding of the medicine she would receive, antenatal care, normal birth, taking blood pressure and complications.
All of the women passed their tests to receive their bags and certificates and 13 of the 29 proved competent to receive a blood pressure cuff.
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