The midwife training program started by first stating that the best option is always to go to a clinic or maternity care facility. Knowing that this is nearly impossible for many women and undesirable for others we are trying to put equipment and knowledge in the hands of local women to help the pregnant women in their regions deliver their babies safely.
We started today with the presentation of bags to carry the equipment we will be giving them. The bags bear the Rotary label as much of the funding for the mission has come from Rotary and three of the volunteers on the mission are Rotarians.
We will gradually fill the bags, explaining each piece of equipment as we give it to them.
The first equipment presented were cel phones and chargers made by our solar program. Although many do not know how to use the phones, their children who have gone to our schools do. Sound familiar?
Since the women in their daily lives never sit in chairs and all their work will be done on matts on the ground, Dr, Bob brought our school to the floor.
Then the jobs were divided among Bob’s helpers. First the importance of good prenatal nutrition was explained by Rachel (here known as Halila). She stressed consultation at the clinic and prenatal vitamins, but also the importance of morninga as it is very nutritious and produced locally. We gave them some dried moringa produced in out garden and also some seeds to plant.
Then Aicha explained and demonstrated cleaning the birth cloth, which is part of the equipment distributed in their bags.
Continuing to stress the importance of cleanliness Aicha leads them through a thorough had washing with a scrub brush and soap. While washing we told them to count to 30, but they counted to 30 so slowly we decided it would be sufficient to make them count to 15.