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 10 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. Our project will pay health workers' salaries for 1 year and help install solar electricity and heat in this rural clinic.
About 800 women die each day around the world from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Conditions for Tibetans in Rima improved 7 years ago when a clinic was built. In this community of 10,000 nomads, there are now 2 traditional doctors and a midwife, although they are working under poor conditions and often without pay. The clinic has no electricity, so doctors have to restrict hours they can see patients, they cannot use medical equipment and they cannot store vaccines.
We have partial funding for a new solar power installation, but need an additional $10,000 to complete the project. With stable electricity, the clinic would be open more hours, have the necessary cold storage for doctors to offer vaccinations to the township children, and run the medical equipment that was donated but cannot be used at present. Having salaries for the professional staff for 1 year would give them time to develop sustainable sources of funding by selling traditional medicines.
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 & provide resources for safe childbirth until women are no longer afraid to get pregnant and all infants thrive.