We got to Iferouane after and exhausting two day drive–the highlight was stopping at Dabous the magnificent neolithic carving of a giraffe–considered to be one of the best in the world. It is life size!
The road was so terrible we arrived to a welcoming committee after sunset–so the planned party was very short and very dark.
We got started the next morning packing supplies to get ready for meeting the matrones in the afternoon. Again we were given the city hall to use for our training–it actually has electricity (after 10 am) which really helps us charge our phones, computers, projector that we use for the educational films.
They reported a total of 366 births. 134 were at home and 232 evacuations to the maternity clinic in Iferouane. 15 Infections and 3 hemorrhages all of which were dealt with as trained with no further complication.
We have noted that Iferouane has a nomadic population with greater access to transportation to a clinic and most matrones choose to evacuate their patients for delivery there. This is our recommendation and much preferred to a home birth in a tent, but not always a choice. We see that these patients with adequate prenatal care are faring well and are pleased with the results.
This year we introduced these women to blood pressure cuffs for the first time. This training, which requires individual attention was conducted each day working around the group sessions.
We are very proud of them and are looking into how to expand the program since so many new communities have asked.