Part of the One Heart World-Wide model is to ensure long-term sustainability of the projects we implement by ensuring that local staff and volunteers are prepared to independently manage programs, ensuring stable funding sources, and making sure that the community stakeholders are invested in our mission. We are pleased to announce that we have identified a great partner that has the not only the ability to fund the program in its entirety, but is also dedicated to the mission of saving lives and educating the indigenous people of the Copper Canyon. We are confident that we are leaving our Mexico program in very good hands as we transition into a role of providing technical assistance and evaluation of the work we began there.
Our new partner, Fundación Vida Digna, a foundation funded by Interceramic, S.A. will be incorporating the Network of Safety model into their mission. Fundación Vida Digna currently works in rural areas of the Copper Canyon and has provided education and health services to these communities for over 10 years. Interceramic is one of the largest tile companies in the world, and we are thrilled that they share our passion to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes for indigenous communities in the Copper Canyon. This is an opportunity to expand our projects to a larger scale within the state of Chihuahua and to more efficiently provide services to the communities at the highest risk there. We are excited to embark on this new partnership with them.
Because the process of creating a new partnership can be time-consuming, we have dedicated much of the past three months to fine-tuning our plan to satisfy the needs and goals of both One Heart and Vida Digna, while maximizing benefit to the Tarahumara people. Despite being busy with planning details, we have been able to provide refresher courses for 60 community volunteers from the municipality of Guachochi in basic prenatal care. By the end of this year we will have trained at least 4 more groups of 60 people each, totaling 300 community volunteers. We expect the number of volunteers trained to increase steadily next year, therefore enabling us to reach out to larger numbers of women in need of improved access to maternal and newborn care.
As part of the new strategy, we have decided that outreach health workers will participate in a new motivation program. Outreach workers present the largest support for our community volunteers, and through them, volunteers are able to learn the difficulties faced in rural communities. The outreach workers will attend at least one One Heart training every three months so that they can share their first-hand experiences of working with people in the communities so that volunteers may learn more about the people and the environment they live in. Additionally, we will hold two trainings for health personnel covering Emergency Obstetrics, Helping Babies Breath and the use of ultrasound this year. These trainings will cover at least 80 health workers. Right now, they are working on building a new birthing center in Urique to provide a safe space for women to deliver with midwives in the Canyon.
We are certain that our new partnership will bring excellent results by the end of this year, and for that we are very excited. Your help has been essential, not only to this process, but to the entire project. The funds we have received has allowed us to continue to train health workers and volunteers and to provide much-needed support needed to the Tarahumara communities in the Copper Canyon while we plan for the future of the program. One Heart World-Wide and all of our staff are very proud of the work that has been done under our watch. We have trained hundreds of community volunteers and health professionals, learned from the local communities, and improved birth outcomes for women and newborns in the Copper Canyon. We are incredibly grateful for the support of the GlobalGiving community – we couldn’t have done it without you.
Thank you from the One Heart World-Wide family.
This will be the final report for this project. If you would like to continue to support our work in Nepal, please take a look at our project Saving lives, one birth at a time: http://goto.gg/8860
In 2013, a total of 390 Community Health Volunteers and 365 Health Providers were trained. An additional 200 health workers participated in trainings on Multiculturalism and Humanization of Obstetric Care, and the first symposium on the same topic offered in the state of Chihuahua.
In other news, One Heart World-Wide worked with our local government partners to provide food incentives to all Community Health Volunteers. This allows us to offer thanks and compensation to our volunteers and increases the sustainability of our model. Volunteers are able to provide for their families in exchange for their time and dedication, which both increases volunteers ability to continue to work with us and improves the health of their families and communities.
Another huge milestone for our programs in 2013 was the approval of the use of Misoprostol in the communities of the Sierra Tarahumara. One Heart World-Wide has been incorporating Misoprostol into our programs as an effective means of postpartum hemorrhage prevention and management in Tibet and Nepal. However, due to regulations regarding Misoprostol in Mexico, it has not been available for use outside of larger hospitals until recently. Through advocating for its use in rural areas, One Heart was able to work with the state government to allow Community Health Workers to use the life-saving drug to manage postpartum hemorrhage. Misoprostol is ideal for use in remote locations as it can be administered in a pill form and does not require refrigeration such as similar injectable drugs that are commonly used for postpartum hemorrhage management. One Heart is excited that Community Health Workers will now also be able to administer the drug when necessary, and will continue to work with the goverment manage its use. The expanded reach of Misoprostol will help prevent many women from dying in childbirth, as postpartum hemorrhage is the most common cause of maternal deaths in the region. This development shows the strong collaboration that exists between OHW and the state government, and the shared goal to eradicate maternal deaths in the Copper Canyon.
Ángel and Feliciana are One Heart Mexico volunteers. We spoke with Ángel recently and he confessed to us that when his wife, Feliciana, first began volunteering with One Heart, he did not believe in the program. Some months later, as he saw the positive changes that his wife’s commitment was brining to the community, Ángel changed his mind and decided that he, too, wanted to get involved. He was familiar with the small center where his wife and other volunteers held their meetings and gave talks. The small cement room did not have a roof and activities were often cancelled due to rain, strong winds, and other extreme climate conditions common to the canyons. Weather rendered many volunteer activities impossible in the winter months. Wanting to help, Ángel took three weeks of his time to build a roof and reconstruct the community center. Today the center is bigger and better. Volunteers gather there often for meetings and to host health education talks on Sundays. The small building has become an important center of active and ongoing community participation. Ángel now feels very proud to be helping the women in his town and finally feels empowered to make a difference in his community. He has also become a community volunteer, making community visits to deliver clean birth kits and safe motherhood messages to help ensure healthier outcomes for pregnant women and newborns in the Sierras.
We are very excited about our accomplishments in 2013 and we are looking forward to many more successes in the year ahead. Thank you for your continued support and your part in making our work possible.
Late Summer and Fall have been marked by a series of trainings in Guachochi, Chihuahua.
In August, we held five training sessions for volunteers from the municipalities of Guachochi and Batopilas in partnership with the Servicios de Salud (SES, State Health Services) and Desarrollo Integral de la Famila (DIF, government entity for Family Development). Volunteer trainings cover a variety of topics, including the Network of Safety model, healthy pregnancies, prenatal care and its importance, newborn care, how to identify warning signs and possible complications during pregnancy, delivery, and puerperium and how to handle them, developing delivery and evacuation plans, use of volunteer equipment and materials, community outreach, and data collection.
All 250 participating Foot Soldiers of Change (volunteer outreach providers) were provided with materials and equipment to help pregnant women in their communities. Their volunteer backpacks include items such as thermometers, blood pressure cuffs and headlamps to monitor the women's progress, as well as flip charts that help volunteers to recognize warning signs and guide them through actions to take when certain situations arise.
In September, alongside the SES, we held a training for 40 doctors and nurses from Guachochi and Batopilas. The providers were trained in ultrasound use, emergency obstetrics, and intercultural sensitivity. They also participated in a workshop on vertical delivery, as this is a delivery option that is seldom used in delivery facilities, but is often preferred by Tarahumara women. Helping providers to better understand equipment designed for vertical delivery and discussing the importance of giving this delivery position as an option may encourage more Tarahumara women to have facility-based deliveries
This month, the SES will be hosting a Multiculturalism and Humanization of Obstetric Care Symposium in Chihuahua. While the Symposium has previously been taught on a national level, this will be the first of its kind within the state of Chihuahua. Providers across all levels (including One Heart Mexico volunteers) from all over the Copper Canyon have been selected to attend and act as representatives who will then go back and share with their teams in their units.
One Heart is happy to have played a role in bringing this symposium to the state by helping to organize workshops earlier this year on intercultural sensitivity - a training package that we now include in all of our health providers trainings. Currently, the state health department is working with One Heart and other key stakeholders to promote such trainings for providers as part of their strategy to reduce maternal mortality.
Thanks for all of your support! Don't forget to take advantage of the GlobalGiving Bonus Day on October 23rd! Starting at 9:00am Eastern your donation with be match with an extra 30%!!
Since our last report, things have changed for the better. We had originally set a goal to train 200 community health volunteers, but with new commitments from various stakeholders across the state - that number just got bigger. We are pleased to inform you all that our project in the Copper Canyon of Mexico is now set to reach more women and communities than we had expected.
Thanks to the committment of the State Health Department of Chihuahua and the municipal jurisdictions' efforts to irradicate maternal mortality, as well as a committment from the State Government and its Social Development Department, we have been able to raise the bar for improving maternal and newborn health in the most affected communities of the Sierra Tarahumara. Through a committment made by One Heart Mexico and government entities dedicated to this project, we have been able to agree to train a total of 500 community health volunteers by the end of September of 2013 in order to implement our Network of Safety model. Additionally, we will have trained at least 200 health providers in topics like Emergency Obstetrics, Helping Babies Breathe Protocol and Intercultural Sensitivity, plus, 30 key memebers of the health system will be trained in Basic Use of the Ultrasound Machine. All of this makes for a total of 730 people trained this year in the Sierra Tarahumara to implement and improve a statewide strategy for the reduction of maternal and newborn mortality.
One Heart World-Wide's new goal is to raise money for the purchase of two ultrasound machines that will benefit over 2,000 women in the Sierra Tarahumara. We have agreed to allocate those machines in the areas where they are most needed. The agreement made with the various state agencies will also introduce monthly food incentives for the community health volunteers, starting in August of this year. This will provide a stronger committment from these volunteers to implement this project and will thus improve the lives of so many women. Becasue of the support you have given us up to this point, we have been able to provide trainings to 157 community health volunteers,100 health providers and have been able to reach close to 400 women.
Thanks for the continued support!
We have started the year in good spirits and with a lot of optimism. One Heart has been working hard to train as many people from rural communities as possible in order to reach out to pregnant women residing in the remote areas of the Canyon.
In January, health workers from the state of Chihuahua received a Cultural Sensitivity training for the first time. The idea behind this, is the need to bring deeper awareness to health care providers about the cultural beliefs that the Tarahumara women hold in order to communicate more clearly, effectively, and in a manner that is respectful of their cultural differences. The majority of the health staff that work in rural communities, we have realized, are mestizos, meaning they do not consider themselves indigenous. Due to the differing perspectives and practices held by the mestizos and the Tarahumaras, we believe it is important for health workers to be more open to the cultural beliefs of the many indigenous groups within Mexico, in order to provide improved, client-centered care to the indigenous women that are at risk of dying in childbirth.
We have set a goal to train at least 200 community health volunteers in two municipalities, Urique and Guachochi. To date, we are pleased to report that we have already trained 90 of them. Community health volunteers are such an essential part of the "Network of Safety" model, functioning as our Foot Soldiers of Change to provide outreach to the remote communities of the Canyon. We are increasing the number of community health volunteers we train because the more we train, the greater number of women we will reach. These Foot Soldiers are trained in basic life saving skills, basic prenatal care and emergency evacuation and stabilization. All of the 90 people that have been trained take the responsibility to spread messages about the benefits of receiving adequate maternal health care to their communities. It is because of this, that more women are now accessing care on time, have increased their visits to a doctor in a clinic, and feel more comfortable delivering in a clinic near their home.
In addition to having made a requirement for health staff to receive a Cultural Sensitivity training, we are also providing doctors and nurses with receiving training in emergency obstetrics and neonatal resuscitation. So far this year, we have trained 44 nurses and doctors, and are expecting to train another 40 in May. We make sure that all staff that is trained has direct contact with rural areas of the Copper Canyon to ensure that pregnant women in the greatest need receive most of the benefits from these of trainings, which are designed specifically for high risk areas.
We are proud to also announce that for the first time since we arrived to Mexico, we were able to bring some of our supporters to visit the Copper Canyon and to get a first hand look at how we develop and implement our programs for the safety of mothers and newborns. We must say that it was an unforgettable experience and are hoping to do it again next year.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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