The Ankave of Suowi Valley typically give birth unsheltered, in the forest. This leaves mothers and newborns exceptionally vulnerable. The village midwives and the women of their community built a shared birthing house where women can be assisted in childbirth under shelter. This bush house, built by the hands of these women, is in dire need of repair, basic equipment such as buckets, water access, emergency communication, and lighting.
These forest villages have no roads, water piping or electricity. Water can be piped to the house from rain catchments. Buckets can be filled at the river to supplement rainwater. Solar backpacks for the midwives can provide portable lighting with space for birth supplies. A solar kit can illuminate the birth house, and charge the emergency radio. Basic construction supplies, like nails, often taken for granted, cannot be obtained in the forest, but would improve the birth house significantly.
With this material support to their training, These indigenous women and their babies will have a better chance of survival with more protected, hygienic and equipped birthing spaces. Dovetailing with the cookstoves project, which is reducing tree consumption and smoke exposure for the Ankave, an initiative like this builds commitment in the community, and sets the stage for more complex interventions to address health of the planet: conservation, human health and education in an integrated way.
Indigenous Health Solutions website