We have just completed a mission to train 8 traditional birth attendants in Iferouane. These women previously had their first training, conducted by Assalama, an experienced Traditional Birth Attendant herself, without the presence of our American medical team. We are working hard to turn this program over to local staff. COVID has forced our hand. Since we could not do our annual mission in 2020 we are continuing with locals. This was our third training mission. To be sure it is the best work we can do, we sent our team from Tamesna (our base) to verify the previous work and help the Iferouane program continue. Rabi, our clinic nurse at Tamesna has become a competent instructor and has now returned to school to further her medical education and become a full midwife. We are paying her tuition as long as she continues to direct our training program of new matrones. The eight new matrones helped 44 women deliver babies. They had no maternal mortalities and 2 infant mortalities (premature babies born dead). In that time Assalama, also part of our program delivered 89. She is an amazing trainer and a very hard worker–she works at the maternity hospital in Iferouane for no salary–and is only paid when she trains for us. This year we bought her a small herd of goats to help her financially.
Rabi and Assalama are proving to be a very hardworking and conscientious team–exactly what we need to continue the program without our American team–Dr. Becky and Midwife Pat.