Thank you for your unwavering support of training local girls as skilled birth attendants and tranforming maternal health in rural Bangladesh. We would like to introduce you to Ayesha, one of our first graduating students! Ayesha is one of our star students and very passionate about helping mothers. Read below to hear why she chose to go into midwifery:
Ayesha is from Muhuri Para, Jhilongjha, Cox’s Bazar Sadar, Cox’s Bazar. She is from a family of seven. Her father is a day laborer and he is the main provider of their family. Her mother is active in encouraging her children to continue their education despite their socioeconomic status, which is quite unique. Ayesha is the only person who has completed higher secondary in her family therefore no one could guide her to study science which could have been helpful from the beginning, she recollects. She says she is fortunate to be able to participate in this programme as students are accepted on a more rounded basis irrespective of academic background alone.
Upon graduation she wants to work in her community and she expects that it will bring positive changes in her life. She believes if she can graduate as a skilled midwife, community people will accept her which will open the door to help the community people; and this in turn will appear as a source of income as well to change her life. In her community she reports many welcome this profession no matter how old she is; to them, knowledge and skill matter the most to provide needed services.
Ayesha was found knowledgeable about the healthcare services in her community where currently no midwives or nurses exist. Ayesha strongly believes she and one of her classmates can play a pivotal role in their community. She talks about the low level of hygiene and sanitation that causes diarrhea and other bacterial diseases which plague younger children the most and how she can address these issues. Ayesha looks forward to being financially independent and leading a positive life in her community. She is grateful the opportunity has provided her with.
Our skilled birth attendants enrolled in our first class are nearing graduation and engaged in hands-on experience to prepare them for the job market. Their field work ranges from providing antenatal care, conducting labs, to assiting doctors with deliveries. They are acutely trained on recognizing the warning signs of high risk pregnancies as well as complications during delivery. This is most important in Cox's Bazar when transportation to a comprehensive facility equipped to do emergency obstetric care is limited and access can be deterred for a multitude of reasons. Every second counts when a mother is experiencing complications in labor and thus our birth attendants won't hesitate when they see a warning sign. Prior to graduation, each midwife will have been present to a minimum of 40 deliveries. They are exposed to many projects of HOPE's and have become instrumental in supporting our work. We cannot be any more ecstatic for these women to work in their communities and make a huge difference for the mothers of rural Bangladesh. Thank you for your continued support.
We have exciting news to share with you! As a result of a new project whereby we are conducting maternal health research, our students are gaining first-hand experience in the field, providing antenatal care! Thus far, our students, along with our staff, have conducted 140 antenatal care checks in very remote areas. These rural maternal health camps are being held weekly, providing students immense experience, particularly in rural areas where resources are low. One of HOPE's rural medical centers located on the island of Moheshkhali was met with patients seeking care, lined up outside the door! It is not that pregnant women in Bangladesh don't want the care; its that they cannot access the care when the distance is too great.
HOPE's goal is to continue training skilled birth attendants so that NO MOTHER LACKS ACCESS TO SKILLED CARE. Help us make pregnancy and birth safe for mothers and their babies.
Your support of our project to train birth attendants made our project to provide 500 women with antenatal care and encourage skilled birth attendance a huge success! Not only did we provide 500 women in our local area with antenatal care, whereas only 7% in this area normally receive it, but we increased hospital delivery from 10% to 30% and skilled birth attendance at home from 8% to 40%. There were ZERO maternal mortalities and ZERO cases of obstetric fistula, a childbirth injury prevalent in this area. All 500 women received education on caring for herself and baby post- delivery, nutrition counseling, breastfeeding counseling and family planning.
This was an excellent experience for our birth attendant students to truly engage with pregnant mothers, improve their quality of care and understanding how to work with patients on-on-one, and to gain meaninful experience navigating appropriate ways to disseminate sometimes culturally sensitive information such as family planning. HOPE could not be happier. Please read below a story of one of the patients who was educated by our students and made a critical decision regarding both her and her baby's lives:
Johura is 27 years old and has finished schooling up to class 8. This was Johura’s second pregnancy. In her first pregnancy she suffered uterine complications and to avert the recurrence this time she enrolled to ensure a safe delivery. During ANC, she came to know about the Dos and Don’ts during pregnancy and benefitted tremendously. While attending an interactive counseling session during ANC, Johura shared her experience about her first which was a home-based birth without skilled a skilled birth attendant. After giving birth to her second child at HOPE she found that HOPE provided her the necessary care and support. The baby is doing well and being exclusively breast-fed as recommended.
Here at HOPE we get excited when different projects come together to pursue greater outcomes for our mission. The women who have been trained as birth attendants thus far are incorporated in another project of ours, providing delivery and safe pregnancy to rural women in our communities. Our birth attendants are instrumental in this project for a few reasons. One, in addition to our Mothers' Clubs, they are essential in recruiting expectant women in need to the project; two, they are active in the antenatal care services. Not only are they providing the actual services and counseling groups of women at a time to educate them on the importance of ANC, they are calling these women to remind them of their appointments, provide information and answer any questions they may have. Existing as a wealth of information is important in this area where reproductive health is not openly discussed, and therefore women stay in the dark about crucial steps they should be taking to protect themselves and their babies. We are ecstatic to see these attendants utilize their training and education to make huge differences in the lives of their communities.
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