Help Pregnant Patients during Coronavirus Pandemic

by Mercy In Action Vineyard, INC
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Help Pregnant Patients during Coronavirus Pandemic
Help Pregnant Patients during Coronavirus Pandemic
Help Pregnant Patients during Coronavirus Pandemic
Teaching in the jail
Teaching in the jail

      During the global pandemic, pregnant women have faced many obstacles hindering their maternity care with lockdowns keeping them at home and reduced clinic hours in many places. Incarcerated women in the Philippines have been especially isolated as visitors to prisoners have been banned during much of the pandemic.  One exception to this rule is that medical personnel have been permitted to still visit even when others cannot.  In these situations, our courageous Mercy In Action staff have not only provided excellent maternity care, but have also met the need for social interaction and support for lonely, uncared for pregnant patients who are incarcerated.  

      For the past decade, Mercy midwives have volunteered to go into the women's prison in our region and give prenatal care to the pregnant prisoners. About 10 years ago, Vicki and Rose made arrangements with the prison officials for the women to be able to come to our birth center to deliver, as long as they were experiencing a low-risk pregnancy. We are actively involved in caring for pregnant inmates in several of our birth center locations. 

       Here's a short video in which Vicki tells a story about the prison outreach: Vicki's prison outreach story

      Nerissa, our midwife in Leyte, recently taught a seminar on Maternal/Child Health in the women's prison.  She was able to educate women about pregnancy and provide information for keeping children healthy.  These women may remember this their whole lives, far beyond their time in jail. 

     Rina, our Patient Care Liaison, goes into the prison regularly and brings one of our midwives to do checkups if there are currently any pregnant women incarcerated.  The kindness and respect Rina and the midwives offer these women stand in stark contrast to the way they are treated by the guards and fellow inmates.

      Marlene, one of our midwives in Olongapo, has visited the regional prison to do checkups whenever there are pregnant women inmates, and this year our birth center had a woman brought by the guards when her labor began. This mother had a gentle, natural birth and was treated with respect and an outpouring of love by our midwives.  Her baby had the best start possible to life, and she and the baby will forever have that moment together.

      Your generosity enables Mercy in Action midwives to serve the incarcerated women isolated from their families in their communities while they also faithfully provide routine maternity care to families.   Thank you!

Blessings,

Jenny Fox for the Mercy in Action Team

Entering the jail
Entering the jail
Mercy midwives visiting the jail
Mercy midwives visiting the jail
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Mercy In Action continues to deliver!
Mercy In Action continues to deliver!

While the COVID-19 pandemic is still a major factor that negatively impacts health in the Philippines at this time, we are happy to report that Mercy In Action sponsored birth centers and clinics have remained open at all times and continue to meet the needs of pregnant women, their newborns, and their families in a myriad of ways

Our midwives are caring, sensitive, and alert to signs of danger in the provision of maternity care.

Our clinics continue to share food with those in need during a time of high unemployment.

Our ambulances have been running as usual, in spite of the higher cost of gasoline.

Our birth centers have stayed open 24 hours per day, rain or shine, throughout the pandemic and the natural disasters we have experienced recently.

Thanks to your donations, the midwives of Mercy In Action have been able to serve steadfastly for over two years, and continue to provide high-quality, compassionate, and appropriate care to all the pregnant women and families we serve.

Because of you, no disaster or pandemic is a barrier to survival during childbirth and early infancy. Your generosity and vision to help the most vulnerable get through this time of crisis is heartwarming to all of us on the frontlines.

Blessings and Thanks,

Vicki 

For the Mercy In Action team

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Feeling well cared for in Mercy In Action's clinic
Feeling well cared for in Mercy In Action's clinic

Thank you for your kind support of this project to help our pregnant women and postpartum mothers, and their families, during these times of hardship in the Philippines. Most of our patients do not own a car, and public transportation became very expensive during the pandemic. In addition, we are still helping families with food as needed, and we drive the new families home in our ambulance after they have recovered from birth.

Jem is a woman who expressed appreciation for the extra care and concern. She says that having a baby during a global pandemic was scary for her, but the midwives at the Mercy In Action sponsored birth center were kind and helpful and kept all safety precautions and protocols to keep her and her baby safe. She says "Maraming Salamat Po", meaning "Thank you very much!" 

Please be assured that your donations are making a difference, now more than ever. 

Blessings and love from the Mercy In Action team,

Vicki

Going home with a baby and food for the family!
Going home with a baby and food for the family!

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Happy Family at Christmas 2021
Happy Family at Christmas 2021

Dear Supporters and Friends of Mercy In Action,

So many Christmas blessings are being passed on to new mothers, babies, families, and the hard working midwives in the Philippines thanks to your generous donations! 

Blessings #1: Health: Because of the excellent maternity healthcare being delivered free of charge in Mercy In Action sponsored birth centers, babies are being born healthier, and birthing mothers are having fewer childbirth complications. These excellent outcomes are due to the evidence-based, safe and respectful midwifery model of care that is available to all

Blessing #2: Availability: Our birth centers are open 24/7. When the patients can't get to us due to lockdowns and a nationwide shortage of public transportation options, we get to them with home visits. And when labor starts we can go anywhere to get them in our Mercy In Action vehicles. If a problem arises, our ambulance gets them to the hospital, and when they are ready to go home, we give them a ride home.

Blessing #3: Nourishment: Our Mercy In Action birth centers give food bags to new parents when they discharge with their new baby, as well as making a food pantry available during each clinic visit. This is important right now because the pandemic still rages in the Philippines and many people cannot find work to support their families during these hard times. Food makes all the difference in keeping a family healthy and well.

Blessing #4: Staff Support: Our birth centers recruit and retain a dedicated staff of midwives and support people because we ensure they will be safe, secure, respected, and enabled to provide good quality, personalized care to women and newborns in a positive work environment. In December we give a 13th month blessing to all staff, which is a bonus equal to a month's wages. 

Blessing #5: Love and Prayers: The goal at all Mercy In Action birth centers is for the pregnant mother to feel loved, supported, and cared for - physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We do this by prioritizing whole-person care, and realizing that there are many factors and elements in the pursuit of true health.

Thank you for your donations that have enabled us to bless the families in our community in new and creative ways during the pandemic, as well as support our midwife staff with excellence as they are called upon to take on new and unexpected challenges. 

Please continue to support this project! 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours,

Vicki for the Mercy In Action team in the Philippines

Christmas Baby 2021
Christmas Baby 2021
Taking a Baby and Food Home for Christmas
Taking a Baby and Food Home for Christmas

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Every mother is given food and vitamins at clinic
Every mother is given food and vitamins at clinic

Dear Supporters,

It is with heartfelt appreciation that I write this report, as the COVID pandemic is still wreaking havoc in the Philippines. Hospitals are full and often refuse to accept pregnant patients. Lockdowns are still impacting people's ability to work or even to travel to access healthcare visits. 

Mercy In Action's birth centers are a beacon of bright light in this dismal situation. Always open, we are not only continuing all our services, we are also accepting women in labor in record number, and meeting this need with our usual high standard of maternity care. We have hired new staff midwives and birth assistants to meet the need, as we are only getting busier the longer the pandemic goes on.

Thanks to you, our donors, we are able to keep the birth centers well stocked. Your donations also help us keep supplies like cleaning products, gloves, and masks always on hand so that the midwives and staff can follow best-practice guidelines. 

Also because of your donations, our clinics have been able to set up food pantries in our waiting rooms, where people coming in for care can take anything they need, and also have the option of leaving food for others who are less fortunate. 

Thank you for continuing to help with this situation, your kind concern is appreciated more than you will ever know,

Blessings,

Vicki

For the Mercy In Action team in the Philippines

Mercy In Action pantry - take food or leave food
Mercy In Action pantry - take food or leave food
Mercy In Action pantry - all our clinics have this
Mercy In Action pantry - all our clinics have this

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Organization Information

Mercy In Action Vineyard, INC

Location: Boise, ID - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Vicki Penwell
Boise, ID United States
$65,510 raised of $95,000 goal
 
368 donations
$29,490 to go
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