Hope Foundation for Women and Children of Bangladesh is pleased to share the great strides and successes as of late! On January 28th, 2013, our Community Midwifery Program began with the students attending their first class. This program is the first Bangladeshi Government recognized Midwifery program in all of Bangladesh! HOPE will train and graduate 100 midwives by the year 2016. In total, the course will run for 3 years, consisting of 2 years of study and the final year in an internship. The end goal of the program is to provide a supply of midwives that will be rigorously trained and capable of working in rural areas where accessibility to delivery and care services is vastly underdeveloped. The students who were chosen for this course are all local girls, living in and around Hope Foundation medical centers. This helps ensure that, once they graduate, these trained midwives can go back to their own communities and help deliver babies at home as independent practitioners or seek employment at the Hope Clinic near their homes. The midwives can also seek employment elsewhere, but by selecting girls who are living in rural areas they are more likely to stay in their communities to work and provide services to the rural women who are most at need. The use of trained midwives working with mothers while pregnant, during delivery, and postpartum, will facilitate a smoother and safer birth process. Through the use of trained midwives, we can expand our outreach and education concerning rickets, and educate new mothers on how to provide adequate nutrition to their newborns and children to prevent this condition. Furthermore, midwives will be able to recognize birthing complications during delivery and after, and help these women in need to access appropriate medical attention immediately, as opposed to these women suffering for long periods of time, unaware that their condition can be treated. A greater access to midwives means more lives are saved, both mothers and babies!
From November 4-12, 2013, the world-renowned surgeon from Michigan, Dr. Steven Arrowsmith, returned to Bangladesh to conduct Hope’s third Fistula Camp. Possessing over 25 years of experience, Dr. Arrowsmith has worked all over the world, particularly in Africa, to treat women suffering from Obstetric Fistula. Fistula is a condition in which a small hole is created in the genitalia, a complication due mainly to difficult, prolonged labor. In Bangladeshi villages, most births are at home at the hands of untrained birth attendants who encourage premature bearing down as soon as labor pains begin. This painful labor can last for days and the effect of all that pressure can cause fistula. The prolonged labor also means that the baby dies inside the mother. Obstetric fistulas result in incessant, lifelong incontinence if untreated. The smell and the social stigma result in husbands abandoning their wives, since they do not know that the condition can be cured, and eventually these women become ostracized from their communities. Through our grassroots approach to locating and examining women for operation, we are treating these women and restoring their lives. 24 surgeries were completed by Dr. Arrowsmith during his 9 day camp.
November 26th through December 6th, HOPE Foundation’s partner Smile Bangladesh returned to Cox’s Bazar to hold a third Cleft Camp. The mission was led by Dr. Shahid Aziz, a Maxillo-facial surgeon from New Jersey, and a long-time friend of HOPE. Dr. Aziz brought along an entire team to complete 60 operations in 12 days. Here at Hope, we are ecstatic that we are reaching an ever-increasing amount of patients!
The work of Hope Foundation is due to our kind supporters. We greatly thank you for all that you have committed, and because of your actions, we have saved the lives of thousands. Your contributions pay for cleft and fistula surgeries, the training of birth attendants and midwives, food for the patients while they are admitted into the hospital, and so much more! We cannot thank you enough for the support you have shown us and we look forward to a very bright future!
Dr. Steve Arrowsmith, a noted obstetric fistula surgeon from Michigan, USA led another fistula surgery camp in November, 2012 and surgically treated 24 very poor women who came from all over the southern part of Bangladesh to seek help. Dr. Nrinmoy Biswas, fistula surgeon of the Hope Hospital assisted Dr. Arrowsmith in the camp.These women are very poor and have been suffering for many years and they live isolated lives due to fistula. After receiving care most of them will be able to get back their normal lives, hopefully will find a job and a place in the society. Hope Foundation provides counselling and help these women to reintegrate in the community through finding employment as well.
Due to the camp in November, 2012 HopeFoundation's fistula work received major publicity in the country. Many more poor women are coming to Hope Hospital for help. Fistula rate is very high in southern part of Bangladesh, where Hope Foundation operates, due to lack of access to emergency obstetric care(EOC) and high rate of home delivery. It is estimated that in Bangladesh there are over 70,000 cases of obstetric fistula. Thanks to our donors for their help in this important project of Hope Foundation
Ayesha Siddiqua was married by the age of 12 and gave birth to her first child by the age of 14. Her birth attendant during labor discouraged her family from taking her to the hospital for delivery. Due to the limitations of a home delivery, she suffered from an obstructed labour and developed a Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF). For four years, Ayesha coped with the effects of urine incontinence. Although she visited 7 different hospitals to receive treatment, the constraint of poverty always remained an obstacle. Finally, she came to Hope Foundation's Cox's Bazar Hospital for Women and Children where she was welcomed by Dr. Arrowsmith and his team of medical assistants. After receiving her surgery, Ayesha expressed her desire to become a trained delivery assistant in order to prevent women from suffering the same complications.
Dr. Arrowsmith successfully operated on 20 other patients in addition to Ayesha. The complex nature of fistula surgeries attracted doctors from Chittagong Medical College and Chittagong Ma O Shishu Medical College who learned by watching the procedure. Jolene Webes, a Canadian National Nurse, assisted in the surgeries and trained the nurses on staff how to achieve quality care for post-operative fistula patients. Due to increased numbers of patients, Dr. Arrowsmith will be returning to Bangladesh for another fistula camp in November 2012.
Thank you for all your support and donations! Great work has been accomplished and it was all because of your help. Please stay updated on our progress by checking our website for the latest newsletters from the field: www.hopeforbangladesh.org
At this moment, between April 14th and April 21st 2012, fistula surgeries are being performed at Cox's Bazar Hospital for Women and Children. Sponsored by the Fistula Foundation, these surgeries are being performed by an experienced surgeon, Dr. Arrowsmith from the US who has traveled many times to Africa to help heal poor women suffering from fistula. This is his first visit in his 30 year career of fistula surgery missions to Bangladesh. The need for these types of missions is very great in this country where so many women suffer in silence for years from obstetric fistula. With your help, and the help of our partners, Hope Foundation aims to reach out to the many women suffering in silence and help them recover from this devastating affliction. Thank you for your help. Keep updated on our progress by checking our website for latest newsletters from the field. www.hopeforbangladesh.org
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