Category Archives: Maternal Health

Join Shanti Uganda’s 2015 Doula Training, “Birthing and Beyond”

http://www.shantiuganda.orgBy our partner, The Shanti Uganda Society

On August 27th to September 4th, The Shanti Uganda Society will be hosting its fourth annual doula training in Uganda, East Africa, the country considered to be the Pearl of Africa. The program has been running since 2012 and has received much positive feedback. A previous student described her experience in 2013 as transformative, humbling and amazing.

“I left a part of my heart in Uganda after leaving all of the wonderful women and children I met there. I would love for others who too are passionate about maternal and infant health to experience what I did so that it cannot only fuel your passion for change but ignite an explosion for change.”

This idea of Shanti Uganda’s doula training being a catalyst to fuel one’s passion for global access to safe dignified birth care goes hand in hand with Shanti Uganda’s mission and core values. Since its founding in 2007, Shanti Uganda has been committed to providing holistic mother-centered care and bringing dignity back to birth in Uganda. Shanti Uganda creates positive global change through grassroots and community initiatives and connecting cultures across the globe. Participants are given a unique experience to be trained while immersed in Ugandan culture.

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Video: Maternal Health Care After Nepal’s Earthquakes

If there is one thing we’ve seen over the past month or so after the earthquakes in Nepal in April and May is there is an overall concerted effort to help women who are expecting babies during the aftermath of the natural disaster.

In 2013, Nepal had a maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 109 per 100,000 live births. That is far too many for a country its size, even though the numbers have dropped significantly since 1990 when the MMR was 790 per 100,000 live births according to the World Health Organization. Nepal has accomplished a fantastic feat to save many more of its mothers since 1990, to be sure. Helping expectant mothers (especially those who live in remote, mountainous, rural areas) after an earthquake is an entirely different scenario. Infrastructure has been weakened. Health workers have lost their lives. Hospitals and health posts have been completely destroyed. How, then, do midwives, doctors, and other health workers continue their work to assist mothers who are pregnant and ready to deliver?

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How Jamaica Is Improving Its Maternal Health Outcomes

In the western hemisphere Haiti has the highest maternal mortality ratio at 380 deaths per 100,000 live births. While Jamaica only has 80 deaths per 100,000 live births in comparison, the number of maternal deaths is still too high for the small island nation.

Last week Jamaica’s Ministry of Health announced that it would train 1000 health workers within six months to drastically bring down the number of maternal deaths. The training — which is slated to begin in June — is also aimed at saving the lives of more newborns and children. The training program is a part of a four-year $2.8 billion European Union-funded Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC). In order to reach MDG 5, Jamaica would need to improve its MMR to 25 deaths per 100,000 live births.

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New Global Grant Improves Obstetric Surgical Safety in Western Kenya

Earlier this week we wrote that Duke University researchers discovered that spinal anesthesia (epidurals) can be given to women during C-sections in low-resource settings in Ghana. Now, there is even more good news regarding women in Africa who are in need of emergency C-sections during high-risk deliveries.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), Kenya’s AIC Kijabe Hospital, a 260-bed complex, composed of a 230-bed main hospital, a 30-bed orthopedic and rehabilitation children’s hospital, and the Kenya-based Center for Public Health and Development recently received a $2.6 million grant from the GE Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative to improve surgical safety by advancing anesthesia and obstetrics surgery team training and coordination.

The grant will help women who live in remote Western Kenya.

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