Mar 1, 2018

Transforming Maternal & Child Health: Next Steps

Some of our amazing Traditional Birth Attendants
Some of our amazing Traditional Birth Attendants

Thanks to your generous support we are just a month away from running our first ‘Train the Trainer’ workshop for Traditional Birth Attendants.

The workshop is part of a new pilot project, expanding our maternal and child health programme by equipping our most experienced indigenous health workers with the skills to proactively pass on their midwifery knowledge to new TBAs. The new indigenous trainers will also be taught how to support and monitor the work of our growing team of TBAs, allowing us to record our impact in a more effective way.

Over time this project will reduce the dependency on international trainers to run workshops and improve sustainability and community ownership. It will also provide evidence of the impact of the TBAs which can be used to improve the initiative going forward.

At the first workshop in March 2018, we will be training seven of our most experienced TBAs. The workshop will be run by three UK midwives, two of whom have made six prior trips to the region, in addition to running a successful training project in Mongolia.

Following the workshop in March the newly trained TBA Trainers will each teach a bespoke curriculum to seven new TBAs from local villages. 

In November, the UK midwives will return to Chin State, meeting with the original seven trainers to receive feedback on their experiences and to evaluate the progress of the pilot. The UK midwives also aim to:

  • run hands-on training for the new TBAs
  • assess the extent of their knowledge through practical and theoretical assessments
  • provide additional advanced practical training 

We are so grateful to you for partnering with us to bring health and hope to mothers and babies in western Myanmar. 

Do look out for photographs and stories of the training shortly after Easter!

UK midwife teaching essential midwifery skills
UK midwife teaching essential midwifery skills
TBAs learning to stitch wounds
TBAs learning to stitch wounds
TBAs receiving UNFPA dignity kits
TBAs receiving UNFPA dignity kits
Feb 23, 2018

Training Centre Rebuilding: March 2018 Update

The training centre starting to take shape
The training centre starting to take shape

We are delighted to report that over the past four months significant progress has been made on the building of the new training centre in Lailenpi, western Myanmar.

The dry season which started in November has allowed the local community to push forward with preparing the building site, digging deep foundations and erecting the first reinforced concrete columns.  

Thanks to technical support from a field-engineer from eMI-World, they have also been learning new building techniques to ensure the training centre can withstand future earthquakes and extreme weather conditions.

The new building will have many advantages, not only providing a space to deliver large scale training, but also smaller classrooms from which to launch new education and food security projects.

The training hall and classrooms also meet the need for a flexible accommodation space, enabling us to host visiting health workers, traditional birth attendants, students and farmers during training sessions.

We are so grateful for the commitment and dedication of the local community, and for your generosity in providing the funding for this essential project.  

We have now raised more than 85% of the budget for construction of the main building and are now looking to raise a further £29,000 ($40,500) by the end of March 2018. The additional funds will ensure that all of the building materials can be purchased and transported prior to the beginning of the monsoon season in May, when the roads to Lailenpi become impassable.  The funding will also enable further visits from the field-engineer to help develop the skills of the local community and ensure due diligence takes place during construction.

Once the construction work is complete we'll then be kitting out the training centre with furnishings and equipping the classroms and library ready for use.  

Thank you so much for your ongoing support,

Michelle

Digging deep with the help of the local community
Digging deep with the help of the local community
eMI-World Field Engineer in action
eMI-World Field Engineer in action
The community working hard together
The community working hard together
Formwork and shuttering completed by hand
Formwork and shuttering completed by hand
Preparing the foundations
Preparing the foundations
Tying together the reinforcement
Tying together the reinforcement
The first column in place
The first column in place
The Training Centre so far
The Training Centre so far

Links:

Dec 4, 2017

Serving sacrificially in western Myanmar

CHWs serving villagers in Rakhine State
CHWs serving villagers in Rakhine State

Our Community Health Workers (CHWs) and Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) offer life-saving medical treatment and education to thousands of rural villagers throughout Chin and Rakhine State. To do this, they travel many miles in boats, on motorbikes and on foot through jungle terrain. In western Myanmar, the monsoon season lasts from May to October each year, with heavy rains and strong winds making these journeys even more perilous. Yet despite the dangers, our team are committed to reaching those in need.

One of our health workers, Soe, faced many difficulties while conducting medical visits. He wrote, “Due to road difficulties, I was not able to reach the more distant villages. I had to stop in one village for one week because there was no way to travel out, the river was flooded and we could not cross”.  

And the flooding was not the only challenge Soe faced carrying out his Health & Hope duties, “On my way back from collecting data, I and my fellow worker became ill and had to be hospitalised for a few days before continuing on our journey back to the training centre in Sittwe.” 

Nowhere is the support offered by our health workers more vital than in situations like those found by Khai in the Pingyawa refugee camp. “The refugees I spoke to had been forced from their villages due to fighting,” he reported. “They now have no homes to return to, and their condition is so terrible. There is no toilet, proper housing, no place to stay, no water to drink and no school for their children.” Khai found three of our health workers living in the refugee camp, doing what they could to bring health and hope to the villagers there faced with such dire circumstances. 

Due to the dangers associated with travelling during the monsoon season, Health and Hope schedule the majority of our operational work to take place between November and April. 

One new training course that we are particularly excited about over the coming year, is a 'Train the Trainer' project, that will expand our maternal and child health programme to our most experienced indigenous health workers.  Equipped with leadership skills and training, they will be able to proactively pass on their knowledge to new TBAs who are unable to travel to our training centre in Lailenpi. 

The new trainers will also be taught how to support and monitor the work of our growing team of TBAs, allowing us to record our impact in a more effective way. By facilitating this peer-to-peer knowledge transfer, and improving our evaluation processes we hope the knowledge which is passed on will provide long-term impact to future generations.

If sufficient funds are raised, we will run our Train the Trainer programme from March 2018 to March 2019 as a one year pilot. Following the pilot we hope to recruit and train more indigenous trainers over the coming years.

Finally, if you haven't already seen, we've recently released our latest Annual Report. This is available to download on our website if you would like to read more about our work over the past year.

We are so grateful for your partnership in bringing health and hope to rural villagers in western Myanmar.

Thank you!

Community clinics and health education work
Community clinics and health education work
Treacherous travel conditions faced by our CHWs
Treacherous travel conditions faced by our CHWs
Training Traditional Birth Attendants
Training Traditional Birth Attendants

Links:

 
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