Since our last update in April 2012, we have helped hundreds of additional mothers safely give birth. A total of 629 women registered have had healthy babies since the beginning of the program in November 2011. A striking 70% of these births have taken place at a health facility under skilled care rather than at home. Health facilities and hospitals in the project areas saw their in-facility delivery rates more than double on average.
With your help, we are over half way to our $10,000 fundraising goal! THANK YOU. It is not too late to contribute to the project again or to consider making a recurring monthly gift. We can also use your help spreading the word about this amazing project and the families it serves. Please consider forwarding the site to your friends and family.
The success of this project has gained global attention and we are in the process of seeking additional sources of funding to expand so we can serve thousands of other women who might otherwise end up giving birth under risky conditions at home.
Stories from the field
On a recent trip to Pemba Island to visit one of the project districts, we heard many requests to continue the project from all levels of participants including the government all the way down to the community health workers and the pregnant mothers we are targeting.
As one of the project’s trained traditional birth attendants stated:
“Women are aware [of the risks] and are worried about giving birth at home, but they don’t have money to go to the facility. Some try to walk or go by cart if it’s daytime, but if it’s night they just deliver at home.”
The following cases are from mothers who benefited from this project during the last 3 months. They have become advocates for facility deliveries and wanted to personally say thank you for the support:
- In April a mother named Mwanaidi was referred to Micheweni cottage where she had a prolonged labour. She was induced and successfully delivered a healthy baby boy. After coming back for a postpartum visit, she said she wanted to know the owner of this project so that she could say even a single word of thanks. She indicated that she will not consider delivering at home during future pregnancies. Her past home deliveries were unsuccessful and she now has her first healthy baby.
- Another mother’s family called their Traditional Birth Attendant in June with labor pains and was experiencing eclampsia, which is a life-threatening condition if not treated promptly. The pre-arranged driver rushed the pregnant mother to Nungwi facility where the facility staff immediately escorted the Mother to Mnazimoja hospital where they could manage the condition. She delivered a healthy baby girl. Now she is an advocate for hospital deliveries and helps spread the word to other mothers about the risks of home delivery. She believes without the project transport and timely referral to the hospital she wouldn't have survived and may not have her lovely baby.
Thank you from the women of Pemba and Unguja for your interest and continued support to this project. Your donation allows us to keep this project running and to support the traditional birth attendants, who work to ensure that motherhood can be safe for women in Zanzibar.