While visiting our program sites in Kenya, the VSI team recently had the opportunity to meet many mothers and health care providers reached in our safe motherhood program. Of all of the moving stories we heard, Jacinta’s struck a chord, as her experience speaks to the true importance of our work to ensure women have misoprostol tablets wherever they deliver.
Jacinta held baby Joseph and smiled softly into the camera as we asked her about her experience with misoprostol – the medicine that saved her life. Without misoprostol, she could have died. The majority of women in her community deliver their babies at home, often without assistance, but Jacinta was determined to make it to the clinic. After feeling the first labor pains, she summoned the community health worker in her village and together they set out to the nearest clinic, miles away from her home. Joseph was in more of a hurry, and her labor progressed while she was still en route. Jacinta had received misoprostol and instruction on how to use them at prenatal counseling, and so there on the roadside, immediately after delivery, she took her three tablets. With the help of misoprostol she did not suffer from excessive bleeding and was able to gather the strength to get back on the road to seek out postnatal care for her baby boy. She shared, “I have seen the goodness of miso.”
Rural women like Jacinta know the dangers of childbirth more keenly than anyone. In Kenya, 1 in 38 women will die from maternal causes, and only 44% of births are attended by a skilled health care provider. This means more women are dying because they give birth alone, without support or medicines. Your contribution allows VSI to provide needed support to rural women and to save the lives of mothers like Jacinta in Kenyan communities.
To meet another inspirational Kenyan mother, watch Irene’s story:
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