Did you know more than half our 15 Partner projects have been called as first responders for traumatized pregnant & new mamas and babies facing natural and human-made disasters in the last 10+ years in Bangladesh, Haiti, Indonesia (Bali and Aceh), Nepal, the Philippines, and Uganda? Recent earthquakes in Mexico City and Chiapas, both locations of Birth Centers operated by our Partner Luna Maya, may soon be added to the list. (lunamaya.org). Then there’s the volcano in Bali threatening to erupt at any minute (bumisehatfoundation.org).
In southern Bangladesh, Hope Foundation for Women & Children of Bangladesh (hopeforbangladesh.org) is working tirelessly to set up midwifery-based maternal/newborn care and emergency medical services for 500,000 recent Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, in cooperation with the UN. Mother Health International is working in Ugandan refugee camps just over the border with South Sudan, with another half a million displaced people (facebook.com/motherhealthinternational).
We are thrilled to see collaboration and sharing of expertise, personnel and resources among Partner projects! (www.globalforceforhealing.org/project-one/)
What can you do now? Funding these grassroots Partners is a great start! We also appreciate you passing along this update to health care professionals interested in volunteering in Bangladesh’s field hospitals near the site of HOPE’s hospital in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
In this time of climate change, the communities already most vulnerable are facing greater challenges than ever, and deserve our love and support. Thank you! With love as the awakening force, Kay
Dear Rogue Valley Residents,
You’re wholeheartedly invited to the first-ever “Making Peace with Money” workshop co-sponsored by Global Force for Healing and the Ashland Culture of Peace Commission! For details and to register:
Midwives are key partners in what we do here at Global Force for Healing. Safely bringing new life into the world with respectful, quality care is what we and midwives around the globe strive to provide for our moms and babies.
These goals, as with many other goals, still have obstacles that keep them from being achieved. These obstacles are outlined in the publication from The World Health Organization called, Midwives’ Voices, Midwives’ Realities (2016). 2,047 midwives and other birth personnel were interviewed to determine what these obstacles were and how they felt they could be overcome. In general, the obstacles were divided into three main categories, social, economic, and professional. When midwives experience difficulties in all three categories it can lead to a state of burnout, which in turn can lead to a decline in the care they give to their patients.
As a nursing student considering midwifery as a potential career I was very shocked to hear some of the obstacles midwives today are facing. My biggest concern was that only 48% percent of global participants feel fulfilled in the work they do. Another surprising statistic is that only 58% percent of midwives feel they are treated with respect and only 61% percent feel supported to do their jobs. While I appreciate the honesty and openness of the participants in the study, the results make me feel unexcited to enter into a career in which only half of the workforce feels supported and fulfilled. How is it that the people who are supposed to bring life and happiness into this world are feeling this way? What does this say about the future of the profession, including recruiting new midwives into the field at a time they are so desperately needed?
Making changes so global midwives feel happy and supported in the work they do will not only make sure we continue to have enough midwives to support the work, but will also improve the quality of care they are giving their patients. If we are to reach our goal of providing safe, respectful, quality care to all mamas and babies around the globe, then we need to start with the people working to make this happen, the midwives and birthing personnel.
I encourage whoever is reading this blog post to read the full article via the link below, and to share your comments and thoughts on the article: www.globalforceforhealing.org/contact/.
Guest blog by Allison Dressler, Junior Nursing Student at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) and Summer Intern at Global Force for Healing
Maison de Naissance in Southwestern Haiti “It’s hard to believe that Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, is only a 90 minute flight from the border of the US, the richest in the Hemisphere. Fortunately, there is Maison de Naissance (“House of Birth”)—a shining beacon at the end of a long road! Undoubtedly, visiting Haiti was one of the most unique experiences of our lives.” Llewellyn and Leo, Immersion Trip participants (June 2017).
This project Partner operates the only Haitian Health Ministry-licensed birth center and is staffed completely by Haitians. Since their founding in 2004, Maison de Naissance has never lost a mother under its care–after almost 5,000 deliveries! The clinic also provides community health education, family planning, prenatal HIV testing, and pre-and-postnatal visits. It was truly a beacon for surrounding families, offering disaster relief and emergency services after Hurricane Matthew last September.
While continuing to provide high-quality care to local families who would otherwise be left without, current Initiatives include a second Immersion Trip October 1-7, 2017 and raising the remaining $8,000 urgently needed for a new vehicle to navigate very rough roads. To help close this funding gap and/or sign up for one of 3 spots left on the trip-of-a-lifetime, please contact: Janice@globalbirthinghomefoundation.org or call 913.402.6800.
To learn more: http://globalbirthinghomefoundation.org.
Midwives for Haiti: Unsung Hero Bernard Forteus
Bernard Forteus has been a Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA) since he was 25 years old. “I’ve delivered a lot of babies”, he says about nearly 40 years serving his community in rural Haiti. Midwives for Haiti, a Project Partner of GFH provides essential Continuing Education for Bernard and other TBA’s to recognize danger signs in pregnancy, provide sanitary birth techniques and clean birth kits, and promote health in their patients.
Midwives for Haiti (MFH) joins Global Force for Healing and other Network partners in our belief that no woman or baby should die during pregnancy or childbirth. MFH trains skilled birth attendants to increase access to care and end preventable maternal and infant deaths in Haiti (www.midwivesforhaiti.org). They also provide these essential services to families and communities who would otherwise go without them in Haiti, which has the highest maternal and infant mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere. Bravo, Bernard!
To read Bernard’s entire inspiring story: https://www.midwivesforhaiti.org/blog/
Tell Everyone on That Train I Love Them: The Launch of WE CHOOSE LOVE!
A personal mantra of mine has now become an organization founded here in Ashland, Oregon by Asha Deliverance, mother of Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche. Her beloved son “Tilley” was murdered on a Portland, Oregon train in May while defending two teen girls, one wearing a hijab in what has been declared a “hate crime”.
Taliesin’s last words were to, “Tell everyone on that train I love them”. His mother, Asha heard this as a call to action to carry on her son’s legacy by founding a movement to bring love front and center—a mission Global Force for Healing shares. The mission of We Choose Love is to honor human diversity, unity and love in action to build a more peace-loving world.
“My son left me with a job…I believe the true heart of this planet is going to find a way. We need to crack it open so the love can flow in.” Asha Deliverance, Ashland, Oregon 7/28/17
To join the movement, please visit: http://www.wechoose.love/
Hope Foundation for Women & Children of Bangladesh Update by Guest Blogger Jennifer Burns, CNM, MSN (volunteer at new remote birth centers)
Birth centers with midwifery care are a key component to addressing maternal & neonatal morbidity and mortality around the world. Improving access to skilled maternity care is the only way to directly change outcomes in developing countries. Hope Foundation for Women and Children of Bangladesh has opened four birth centers in remote communities. The model is simple and effective, with one midwife, one midwife assistant and three field workers. They begin with door to door surveys and communication with community leaders about midwifery and birth center care. Field workers are on the front lines connecting with the community to help change a culture, with the goal of improving outcomes for women & children of each community.
Another key component is the monthly Mother’s Club meetings. The midwives and field workers gather women of the community and provide structured education on topics ranging from family planning to breastfeeding. This grassroots style is connecting the women of the community and providing them with a support network and information to make informed decisions about their health care. The groups are guided with love and compassion, transforming each woman and her community.
Jennifer with Local Staff
The options in most rural communities for birth are limited to traditional birth attendants. TBAs attend up to 90% of the births in these areas. Unfortunately, many have no formal medical training, which results in high rates of preventable maternal & infant mortality and in Bangladesh, unacceptably high rates of fistula.
There are moments of clarity when working in developing countries. One that profoundly moved me involved a young woman who came to the birth center in labor. Upon arrival she was bleeding and had a fever. She had been laboring at home for quite awhile and walked over an hour to reach the birth center. The midwife identified the fever and bleeding, and immediately began treatment. The birth was imminent and thanks to her training, she knew exactly what to do. The baby was at least 5 weeks preterm but was born alive and breastfed well. The mother received loving, compassionate midwifery care and potentially life-saving medications for her bleeding and infection. I will never forget looking in her eyes as she held her new baby, thinking to myself, “What would have happened to her three months ago prior to this birth center opening?” Luckily, with the dedication of the Hope Foundation we will never know.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL! WE ARE GRATEFUL BEYOND WORDS FOR EACH SAFE DELIVERY AND THE COURAGE OF MOTHERS TO GIVE LIFE! WITH LOVE, KAY
One of the joys of the 2017 Birth Center Symposium in Haiti was meeting other dedicated birth workers and educators employing the midwifery model of care, including Amy Marowitz, DNP, CNM. Amy has graciously agreed to join our Circle of Advisors! Please see her bio below. Welcome, Amy!
Amy Marowitz is a Certified Nurse Midwife and an Associate Professor at Frontier Nursing University (FNU) in the Department of Midwifery and Women’s Health. She has 15 years of experience in full scope midwifery in and out of the hospital including a high volume practice with the Indian Health Service, and a smaller hospital owned practice for women on Medicaid. She began teaching at FNU in 1994, has taught Antepartum and Intrapartum Care, and now coordinates the Intrapartum course series.
Amy has published and presented on varied Intrapartum topics, including midwifery management of slow labor, management of pre-labor rupture of membranes at term, care of women in early labor, and waterbirth. She has a passion for Global Midwifery, has made several volunteer trips to Haiti, and has designed a Midwifery Curriculum for use in Haiti based on ICM (International Confederation of Midwives) core competencies.
Amy has a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies with a concentration in Anthropology from the University of Michigan, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from St. Louis University, a Master of Science with a Certificate in Nurse-Midwifery from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Oakland University.