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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
Prenatal Day
Prenatal Day

I want to tell you a story about my friend Rosalie. She likes to be called Lee by her friends. She likes flowers and fresh fruit and loves her children fiercely. Lee also has a life long disease called Hepatitis B.

 The World Health Organization reports that  1 in 10 Asian women currently live with this condition. Hepatitis B is not necessarily due to high risk behaviors like having multiple partners or IV drug use. This illness is also passed in another way, from mother to child. 

 You see Lee’s mother unknowingly passed this condition to her daughter. And without treatment, Lee will pass it on to her baby at birth. This is not just a sad story though. The story I am telling today is one of hope, of a new life brought forth, and that of freedom from this sad cycle. 

 Lee was carrying her fourth child when her neighbor told her about Mercy Midwives and the clinic that we operate, offering free care to all who seek a safe, compassionate birth, free from the burden of a fee for services rendered. Lee had a safe delivery at our birth center and her newborn was given both the Hepatitis B Vaccine that all newborns receive, but also the Hepatitis B immune globulin which will prevent the child from contracting this illness. 

 We live in an exciting time ladies and gentlemen. We now have a way to prevent one of the ways that this disease is spread, from mother to child. Please join us by supporting our work here in the Philippines. You can be a part of a new hope for our future. 

 

*** Names changed to protect the family's privacy. Pictures shown are of the women we care for but not of Rosalie or her family. 

A sanctuary.
A sanctuary.
A happy new family surrounded by Mercy Midwives
A happy new family surrounded by Mercy Midwives

In October Vicki Penwell of Mercy In Action was honored to present our birth model at the Mid-Pacific Conference on Birth and Primal Health Research in Honolulu, Hawaii. The name of the talk was "Improved perinatal outcomes in developing countries through better protection of the physiological processes". 

We have a successful birth model that works here in Olongapo, Philippines, as demonstrated with our outstanding statistics on outcomes and the high rate of satisfaction from the women who give birth there. We train all our midwife staff in the use of the "10 Steps to Optimal Maternity Care", a set of standards developed by the International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative, and ratified by 163 countries. 

Please continue to support this project so that Mercy In Action's birth center can continue to be a refuge for the poor in Olongapo, a place where maternity care is kind, evidence-based, and free.

Links:

Flood waters
Flood waters

Birth Amidst the Crisis:

This is a picture of the baby born in the recent flood. We are so humbled by how resilient the Filipino people are; the woman in labor was so brave in the midst of the storm, and our Filipina midwives, who only hours before were frightened for their own lives with (water up to their necks) were heroes as they came to the aid of the woman in labor; they just figured out a space, a high bed and a way to use what we had to help this little one safely into the world. Two days later, while we were still cleaning up, two more babies were born;  this time both mothers experienced potentially life-threatening complications of labor. Life is hard but God is good, and our Mercy In Action birth center is making an important difference in the lives of the local women.

Everyone on our team has gotten right to work cleaning and caring for the needy at the same time after this devastating flood...

Birth Center flooded:

As for our clinic and birth center, water was 5 feet high inside, so as you can imagine, much of our medical equipment and furniture are a total loss, although we were able to put many things up high before the flood hit full force. We will be rebuilding and purchasing new medical supplies with donations. Thank you for your kind generousity to help women in crisis to give birth safely. Your donations are more important now than ever. 

Baby born in Flood
Baby born in Flood

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Landfill Family
Landfill Family
My heart is torn in two directions as I visit my friend Jhun who lives on the local landfill. I am saddened by the conditions that she lives in and the poverty that surrounds her, and yet I am uplifted as I see her living out her choice to choose joy in the midst of adversity. 
 
Jhun spends her days rummaging through trash, hoping to find bottles, cans or plastic to be recycled. She spends her whole day outside toiling in the relentless sun and heat. If she is able to make the equivalent of 1USD she considers it a successful day and she is able to buy some rice and vegetables and possibly a bit of fish for her children’s dinner. 
 
I met Jhun when I was going door to door passing out children’s vitamin’s that were donated by a generous group of naturopathic physicians. She is now coming to our clinic for prenatal care and plans to deliver in our clinic as well. This is her fifth pregnancy and it will be the first time she has a trained birth attendant to assist her during her time of need. 
 
I know the numbers well. I share them with others when teaching about the desperate need for more midwives around the world. But the numbers become real when you have a lady standing before you. When you have seen her home and played with her children. 
 
Jhun came to the clinic severely anemic and I am so thankful for the donations that have allowed us to stock iron as well as prenatal vitamins. With a steady supply of iron and education about natural sources of iron, Jhun was able to dramatically raise her hemoglobin, which will greatly reduce her risk of excessive bleeding at the time of delivery. This is important because hemorrhage is the number one cause of maternal mortality in countries such as the Philippines. I am so thankful that we were able to help keep Jhun from becoming part of that statistic. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the sheer need surrounding me. 
 
Then I am comforted as I remember the words of Mother Teresa, “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you. “ 
 
Please consider supporting the work that we are doing here in the Philippines. We are making a difference with maternal health and newborn survival one good birth at a time.
 
Thank you for your support of Mercy In Action on GlobalGiving.  
 
 
***(Names have been changed to protect the women's privacy)
Prenatal day at the clinic.
Prenatal day at the clinic.
_MG_8620
_MG_8620

We got a text message a few days ago at 5:30 am from Marcel in the nearby resettlement camp for Aeta tribal people who were displaced 20 years ago following a volcano that destroyed their homeland. They are known by the world community as Internally Displaced Persons, and Marcel is the tribal Chief’s wife. The family has 6 children, this is number 7. Since these refugees are truly among the poorest of the poor, she has not even the few pesos for public transportation, so our midwife Theresa picks her up and drives her to the birth center, where everything is free, including supplies and a newborn layette. We would have delivered her at home but like many countries in the developing world, our country passed ordinances to ban home birth a few years ago, in an attempt to lower the high neonatal and maternal death rate. Fortunately, the local Department of Health recognizes our birthing home as a facility, so they allow us to midwife babies in homebirth style in our own converted home. The baby is a healthy little girl. The Chief tells us he knows many babies and mothers who have died in childbirth; he is wildly happy with the birth. (Names have been changed to protect the women's privacy)

Because of your help, we have been able to offer hundreds of free prenatal check ups to pregnant women in the Subic Bay area of the Philippines. Our birth center delivers around 20 babies each month, and gives each woman individualized woman-centered care.

Thank you for your support of Mercy In Action on GlobalGiving.  


Links:

 

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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
$78,192 raised of $99,000 goal
 
1,030 donations
$20,808 to go
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