Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines

by Mercy In Action Vineyard, INC
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
A Mercy In Action midwife watches the night sky...
A Mercy In Action midwife watches the night sky...

In addition to our day-to-day work of delivering babies, this week our Mercy In Action staff in the Philippines are again responding to another major disaster on Leyte island, this one caused by Tropical storm Megi. The storm last week caused a catastrophic landslide leading to hundreds of deaths and displacing millions of people near our birth center. Our staff was asked by a local humanitarian group to come as perinatal healthcare providers and lactation experts to support the traumatized survivors who are pregnant or have small babies.  We have sent extra donations with our staff to the evacuation centers to support the victims of this deadly landslide with medical aid and pregnancy and breastfeeding support.  Many new mothers were ready to give up breastfeeding because they were stressed by the trauma of loss, grief, and homelessness. Our teaching to both the mothers and the officials in charge of the evacuation centers was to do all in our power to support the MotherBaby unit, as breastfeeding is a stress relief to both of them in hard times. Pregnant women and mothers need to be supported and nurtured during times of evacuation and displacement from their homes, which is what we always seek to do.

Although disaster response is not something Mercy In Action intended to become involved with when we started providing midwife-led maternity care in the Philippines in 1991, we now are fully aware that understanding the basics of best practices in disaster response is essential knowledge for maternity care providers in areas like the Philippines where natural disasters frequently occur.

Thank you for your support of Mercy In Action birth centers in the Philippines, where our midwives and support staff go above and beyond the call of duty when disasters impact the women and babies in their communities.

Blessings and love to you and yours,

Vicki

Babies need extra care when disaster strikes
Babies need extra care when disaster strikes

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New Birth Center as viewed from the street
New Birth Center as viewed from the street

Dear Friends of Mercy in Action,

In my last report, I wrote about the new birth center we were building in a medically under-served area of Samar island in the Philippines.

We are so proud to announce that, with your generous support, the birth center is up and running in time for December babies! 

I have attached a photo to this report of the new birth center at night - doesn't this new center just look so warm and welcoming? It makes me so happy to know this center is open 24/7 to welcome women in labor...which reminds me of a Christmas tradition practiced in Mexico and some parts of the USA…

When Mercy In Action was headquartered years ago on the border of Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico, the Las Posadas, (Spanish for “The Inns”) was a religious festival celebrated in the area at Christmastime. Las Posadas commemorates the journey that Joseph and Mary made from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of a safe refuge where Mary could give birth to the baby Jesus.

I was realizing today that we have built another “Inn” for poor women who are often turned away from hospitals and private clinics when in labor, due to their inability to pay or a shortage of beds. This holiday season, we can be proud together because your donations helped us construct a safe, respectful, evidence-based, and world-class maternity care facility that offers healthcare free to pregnant women in need! And just in time for the season of Las Posadas! 

Thank you, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Lord bless you and your family,

Vicki for the Mercy In Action team

The new birth center in daylight
The new birth center in daylight
First baby born in new birth center on Samar
First baby born in new birth center on Samar
Welcome, first baby born in new birth center!
Welcome, first baby born in new birth center!

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Architectural Drawing of Birth Center to construct
Architectural Drawing of Birth Center to construct

 

Dear Donors and Supporters,

This past year and a half has been a time of growth and expansion for Mercy In Action sponsored Birth Centers in the Philippines, where our staff has been busier than ever with more than the usual number of childbirth deliveries, as well as many more pregnant women seeking checkups.

As the pandemic continues to rage throughout the Philippines, we are also finding that more communities are hard pressed as healthcare is less accessible to them, due to the continuing high number of COVID patients in the hospitals and shrinking healthcare labor force available, especially in rural areas.

One solution we have identified is the need for more birthing centers in areas where the community has none. We were approached by our head midwife about building a new birth center and clinic about 45 minutes from our existing Leyte clinic, on Samar island. So we have purchased a piece of land with a building damaged in the Super Typhoon In this community, and are in the process of renovations. 

Currently, there are no medical facilities in this area, and families are being forced to deliver at home with no trained birth attendant. When we get the new birth center and clinic up and running, we can address this problem with high quality midwife-led care in a lovely, welcoming birthing center. 

Thank you for helping assure there are safe places for babies to be born! We will continue to update you as this project comes to fruition. 

Blessings,

Vicki

For the Mercy In Action team in the Philippines

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Mercy In Action is keeping mothers and babies safe
Mercy In Action is keeping mothers and babies safe

Dear Friends,

As this global COVID-19 pandemic continues into the second year, we wanted to say thank you, once again, for helping our Mercy In Action midwife-led team continue to make safety a top priority in caring for the pregnant women and newborn babies in our care in the Philippines. Your support has been invaluable in keeping mothers and babies healthy and safe in some of the poorest communities in the developing world. We are proud to say that the pandemic has not caused a disruption of services, nor has it compromised the excellent maternity care we provide, thanks to you.

How does your financial partnership with Mercy In Action keep mothers and babies safe? Donations ensure that every pregnant woman in our care receives free high-quality prenatal vitamins, and, during the pandemic lockdowns of the past year, each family that comes through our door receives food as well. Food is the most important aspect of good prenatal care to grow a healthy baby, body and brain, and the growing baby can't wait for the lockdowns to be over...any malnutrition at all in the womb can prove to be disastrous. Your support has kept our growing babies healthy during a time of true need, and supported the health of many pregnant and breastfeeding mothers! 

Donations also ensure that our midwifery care remains free to the patient, and our clinics and birth centers can purchase the medical supplies needed to keep birth safe, satisfying, and woman-centered. Thanks to your generosity, we have never once run out of soap, gloves, hand sanitier, or disinfectant. We have what we need to follow best practices in infection control, and all aspects of the provision of maternity care in our facilities is professional and high quality. 

There are just no proper words to tell you how much your donations have meant to so many vulnerable families this year! So I will just say "Thank You" on their behalf...

Love,

Vicki, for the Mercy In Action team

Pregnant women in our care receive free vitamins
Pregnant women in our care receive free vitamins

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Your support made a difference to 600 babies!
Your support made a difference to 600 babies!

What a challenging year 2020 has been, for so many people, and certainly for the families living in poverty in the Philippines that sought care from Mercy In Action this year!  We were there for the 600 babies that have been born thus far this year in our two birth centers, and our midwives helped hundreds of more pregnant women with food, home visits, and clinical check-ups and treatments. We visited the sick, the prisoners, and many in great need, and to them all, we offered medical care, food, and hope.

As this year comes to a close, we think of all of you who supported Mercy In Action in our work this year. It was because of your partnership with us that we were able to find those with no resources and help them safely through pregnancy and delivery. It was your donations that gave 600 low-income women safe childbirth. You saw the urgent need when the pandemic lockdowns began and helped us buy food for all our pregnant and postpartum patients and their families when they had no way to go to work. You saw the need for midwives to provide cost-effective and personalized care in areas where there was no good maternity care of any kind. You helped many people living in poverty - his report is for you to see that you are indeed making a difference in the world. In a tough year, you provided vital and life-giving help to many. On their behalf, we say a heartfelt Thank You! 

Sending this with lots of love from the Mercy In Action team in the Philippines!  

Safely teaching health classes at prenatal clinic
Safely teaching health classes at prenatal clinic
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Organization Information

Mercy In Action Vineyard, INC

Location: Boise, ID - USA
Website:
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Project Leader:
Vicki Penwell
Boise, ID United States
$123,876 raised of $150,000 goal
 
1,778 donations
$26,124 to go
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