The traditional birth attendants we have been training since 2012 with Dr. Bob Skankey and now for that last two missions, with Dr. Becky Jones are known in Niger as matrones.
The previously trained matrones brought their medical bags and their reports.
Fatima again is in the lead with 70 deliveries since May. Tinzere is second with 43. Neither had a maternal mortality and Tinzer had one infant mortality. Both had resolved problems with hemorrhaging. The totals for all the matrones were 235 deliveries for the past six months with two maternal mortalities—both died after arriving at the hospital and three infant mortalities. We discussed the deaths and what we could have done better. To date no mother has died while under the care of one of our matrones. Although we have had a total of 11 maternal deaths out of 835 deliveries, all died after being taken to the hospital. We only have three years of accurate reporting because of staff changes at the clinic, but when we started 1 in 5 had a lifetime risk of death in childbirth. 11 in 835 isn’t bad.
The training began with prenatal care from the first visit.
We always implicate the experienced matrones in the training of the new ones.
Because Rabi is so busy at the clinic we have an alternate interpreter in Moussa. He claims he could be a matrone himself and was able to help us all through the training—we tried to avoid the embarrassing situations for him—and the women—since he was the only man in the room and two of the trainees were or had been his mother in laws! But prenatal care, the explanation of supplies and medicines were right up his alley.
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