Mother Health International: Ot Nywal Me Kuc (House of Birth and Peace, pronounced “Oat New-Wal Mee Kooch”) is a sustainable, solar-powered birth house offering comprehensive, individualized services based on the midwifery model of care. In Northern Uganda, a woman has a 1/25 lifetime chance of dying during childbirth. Since 2008, the birth house has never lost a mother and has an infant mortality rate of 11/1000, compared to the national average of 62/1000. MHI has recently begun to train small groups of African & global midwives in advanced midwifery care, to implement their model in other locations, and share the model by consulting in various locations in Africa.
Innovations: HeartStrings and Mobile Midwives
HeartStrings: Color-coded bracelets allow nonliterate birth attendants to monitor fetal heart tones in pregnant women. Birth attendants listen to the fetal heart beat and press a bead each time they hear a beat. Results have been extremely successful in identifying high-risk pregnancies in time to make appropriate medical decisions and save lives. For more information: motherhealth.org/education/.
Mobile Midwives: Sends midwives on bikes to the most rural areas of their own communities to provide care for women who may not make it to the clinic (within a 15 mile radius). The program effectively addresses three key delays contributing to high perinatal mortality: delay in seeking care; delay in getting to care; and, delay in receiving care once a mother has reached a health centre. Each village receives monthly visits so even the most remote women get care from early pregnancy through the postpartum period. For more: motherhealth.org/mobile-midwives/.
Co-Founder and Director — Rachel Zaslow; Other Co-Founder — Olivia Kimball