Two pieces of good news – First, Hope Foundation just had a week-long midwifery residential training programme at the hospital in Cox’s Bazaar, which was taught by nurses and midwives who work in birthing units. It was very successful and we are so thankful to our volunteer nurses, doctors and midwives who shared their skills.
Secondly, our official midwifery training program is due to begin next month! This past week on 30 November, 200 potential midwifery students of Hope Foundation took their written test. 30 of these participants will be selected for the two-year long midwifery training programme as well as an internship at Hope Foundation hospital that will be one year in length. The programme begins January 2013. Within four years – by 2016 – Hope Foundation will have trained at least 100 midwives to provide prenatal care, a safe birth environment, and attentive postpartum care to mothers who choose to give birth at Hope Foundation hospital or at home with a midwife’s support. It is a wonderful education opportunity for women living in the Cox’s Bazaar area, and most helpful to have a midwife from your own village that you already know and trust. These highly trained women will be protecting women and babies in rural areas where the current infant and maternal mortality rates are dangerously high. We are anxious to see what positive outcomes their work will bring.
Thank you all for donating to support these women’s ambitions to save lives and ensure the safety of women and children in the Cox’s Bazaar area.
Mary Callahan, an Australian trained Registered Nurse and Midwife with over 30 years of experience has joined the Cox's Bazar Hospital for Women and Children this summer. She is currently studying for a Masters in Public Health and Tropical Medicine at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia. Her keen interest in volunteering in developing countries led her to the Hope Foundation. Mary Callahan has been helping with training the trainers at the hospital and helping with the curriculum. We have been lucky to have her on our team through July and August!
Thank you all for your support and contributions. Great work has been accomplished and we could not have done it without you!
I am currently in Bangladesh for the next ten days on a surgical mission. Everything here is looking good! The new training center has been inaugurated by the Ambassador from Japan last week, and we have many plans on how to improve the job training prospects of the local people as well as provide seminars for the local healthcare professionals in the area. Most of all this building was set up to host the Village Nurse/Birth Attendant program that YOU helped to fund in its crucial pilot program. Thank you. It is said that from little acorns, giant oaks grow. Just a little help at the right time, has enabled us to find the funding for a building. Next years program is looking to be more exciting than the last. We are still keeping the program free for the poor women who are benefitting from this course. Our current graduates are working in the field and at clinics near their homes. They are now breadwinners for their families and trained to take care of pregnant women and their babies! I will be back on April 23rd with more updates.
I visited Bangladesh last December (2011) for 10 days to visit our projects. The hospital training center and dormitory is almost complete, with the scheduled grand opening for April this year. Accompanying me on this trip were Dr. Vidya Sharma, professor of pediatrics from the University of Missouri who is also head of International Health and leader of many projects in India and Africa. This is her first visit to Bangladesh with the hope of establishing grassroots healthcare projects in collaboration with Hope Foundation. Our mission to educate the local people of Bangladesh in easily preventable healthcare problems such as low Vitamin D and rickets continues with the support of people like Dr. Sharma.
Also with me on the trip were a team from California from a group called Mobile Medic, who are trying to set up a system of healthcare for people in isolated rural areas by the use of cell phones to communicate with the hospital. This is an exciting new development that will help our new Village Nurse graduates to administer healthcare direct to patients with the backup of the hospital that is usually too far away for the patient to visit. This will help rural women to get regular checkups during pregnancy to prevent mothers and babies dying from birthing complications since the costs of travelling to the hospital is too much for them. This is also a very low cost way of delivering healthcare since the Village Nurses are local women and their costs are far less than paying a doctor to do home visits.
I met with our Village Nurse graduates who are now employed in various clinics. The graduates from the island of Moheshkhali are now helping our Mothers' Club members in their neighboring villages. Empowering and educating women is an enormous benefit towards the education and improvement of the health of the entire community.
During my trip a 10 bed Rehab unit was set up to provide services to the paralyzed, injured and recovering patients who come to the hospital for occupational and physical therapy. The disabled and paralyzed people in Bangladesh are usually neglected since the country is poor and cannot provide for everyone. Our partnership with KDM, a French rehab. specialist organization has been giving much need therapy to local people since 2010.
Our goal to provide a permanent cafeteria/canteen in the hospital continues and plans are being put in place to do this as soon as the training center is complete. The training center will be a hub for training, meetings, conferences and many events that will require on-site food services that can help the canteen be self-sufficient and also provide free food to the poor patients in the hospital.
My trip ended with several meetings in the capital, Dhaka, with major aid organizations and NGO's. These partnerships will help to continue our mission and vision to help the poor and suffering people in Bangladesh.
Please see attached link for Hope Foundations latest project updates.
Thank you to all our donors for making this happen. Please consider making another donation to our program as another batch of students will be enrolled in the coming new year.
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Ramu, South Mitachari,