A woman arrives at our door in labor. She lives on the local garbage dump, making a meager living as a scavenger along with her husband and older children. She is overjoyed to know that she will not be turned away for lack of the Skilled Birth Attendant user fee or Birth Center facility fee...for she has arrived at Mercy In Action's Mercy Midwives Birthing Home in Olongapo, where care is provided at no charge to the patients. She will be warmly welcomed into the clean, cheerful birthing suite, where she will labor, deliver, and recover in the same bed. Best of all, she does not need to worry that her baby will be taken away from her, or that she will be treated roughly, because this birth center not only has a well stocked pharmacy and supply closet, but they are a Mother-Friendly and Baby-Friendly designated facility as well.
Approximately 15-20 women birth in our birth center each month, and each receives access to anti-hemoragic drugs if needed. Hemorrhage is the leading cause of death in the world. An average of 120 women come each month for prenatal exams, and each receives a monthly supply of prenatal vitamins. Each woman attending prenatal care also is given access to free screening for HIV and Hep B, and any mother positive is given the necessary treatment so that she never has to worry about passing these viruses on to her baby. Each woman who delivers in our centers also receives at least 2 home visits in the first week after birth, and 3 more postpartum visits before 6 weeks.
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