Most women in Tibet give birth at home without access to emergency care or materials and training needed to prevent infection and hemorrhage. We have been working for 11 years in Eastern Tibet to provide a clinic, trained doctors and midwives, and community health educators who teach safe home birth messages, give out clean birthing kits and document birth outcomes. We will pay health workers' salaries for 1 year, provide training and supplies to reduce infant mortality & purchase an ambulance.
About 800 women die daily around the world from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Conditions for Tibetans in Rima improved with a clinic, clean birthing kits and trained health workers. In this community of 10,000 nomads, there are now 2 doctors, a midwife, & 15 community educators, though they are working under poor conditions and often without pay. Maternal mortality has been reduced, but infant mortality in the region is still extremely high. Many infants die from "breathlessness".
There are well-accepted methods to resuscitate newborns in resource-poor settings. We will provide training materials and resuscitation masks, and teach the local health care providers to carry out newborn resuscitation at a home birth. Having salaries for the professional staff for 1 year would give them time to develop sustainable sources of funding by selling traditional medicines. Providing a new ambulance and petrol would allow all families to access emergency care.
Out of 250 annual births, the clinic currently reaches 100 pregnant women with birthing kits and safe childbirth education. In the past 2 years, none of the women who used our birthing kits died, but 14 of their infants died within the first month. Saving the lives of women and infants is critical to stabilizing families and the entire community. We must continue to educate and provide resources for safe childbirth until women are no longer afraid to get pregnant and all infants thrive.