We got a text message a few days ago at 5:30 am from Marcel in the nearby resettlement camp for Aeta tribal people who were displaced 20 years ago following a volcano that destroyed their homeland. They are known by the world community as Internally Displaced Persons, and Marcel is the tribal Chief’s wife. The family has 6 children, this is number 7. Since these refugees are truly among the poorest of the poor, she has not even the few pesos for public transportation, so our midwife Theresa picks her up and drives her to the birth center, where everything is free, including supplies and a newborn layette. We would have delivered her at home but like many countries in the developing world, our country passed ordinances to ban home birth a few years ago, in an attempt to lower the high neonatal and maternal death rate. Fortunately, the local Department of Health recognizes our birthing home as a facility, so they allow us to midwife babies in homebirth style in our own converted home. The baby is a healthy little girl. The Chief tells us he knows many babies and mothers who have died in childbirth; he is wildly happy with the birth. (Names have been changed to protect the women's privacy)
Because of your help, we have been able to offer hundreds of free prenatal check ups to pregnant women in the Subic Bay area of the Philippines. Our birth center delivers around 20 babies each month, and gives each woman individualized woman-centered care.
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