Women in the villages in Darfur fear childbirth - as well they may as the maternal mortality rate is very high and as a result the average of women in Darfur is only 34 years. Women are fearful as there is no trained help available in the villages - only traditional birth attendants who have only rudimentary and outdated knowledge. Hence KIDS FOR KIDS' programme to train village women as village midwives is a 'dream come true' for the women in the villages. The village midwives provide excellent ante-natal care and are able to refer mothers likely to suffer complications to the local hospital to get expert help in a timely manner. The midwives also play a key role in the heath of the new born babies through providing advice to the mothers on feeding and nutrition. KIDS FOR KIDS trains a minimum of 2 village midwives in each village and we are looking to train more for the larger villages. Our Project staff are currently in discussion with the State Ministry of Health to finalise the dates for the next training course at the Midwife Training School - we hope that the new course will begin by the middle of the year. The 3 new villages have already selected their community members to be trained and they are eagerly awaiting the commencement of their training. The midwife training is for 12 months and the women selected and their families make considerable sacrifices in order to attend the training. In some cases the women have to leave their own babies to be looked after by other family members. The support the women receive from their families and the wider community is indicative of the importance which the communities attach to having trained midwives.
Concerning progress on the wider programme activities in the 3 new villages, the procurement of the goats for the poorest households is on-going. Due to the lack of suitable animals in the local markets, the project staff have engaged livestock agents to procure the goats from further afield and this has brought the added bonus of good quality animals at lower prices. This is most welcome as the price of goats has increased greatly in recent months. KIDS FOR KIDS has decided to extend support to an additional 5 villages in 2011/2012 and we have asked the project staff, in consultation with the Networks representing the communities, to identify suitable villages.
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