This fundraiser closed almost 3 years ago
Hilary and I were recently invited to attend an emergency meeting by the Cebu City health department to discuss maternal mortality in the barangay (neighborhood) adjacent to the clinic. We were requested to attend to discuss the issue and how we can all improve. The meeting highlights the challenges that the Philippines, and Cebu specifically face in terms of reducing maternal mortality.
At present this barangay (neighborhood) has the highest maternal mortality rate in the nation! Since the beginning of this year, 3 women have already died from pregnancy complications within the barangay. One of the key issues that Hilary and I felt needed to be addressed throughout the meeting was an improvement of the infrastructure and facilities that the local health center has. It is easy to identify these problems, but it is our goal to provide solutions, within Glory Reborn, but also within the community and country that we are working in. However, to give perspective we will give you a glimpse of the current situation:
Each barangay has a health center (some more than one), in this barangay the health center has the following:
- 1 Midwife - she is responsible for all maternal care for the women in the community. They estimated that 60 women would deliver each month, which would be on average 2 deliveries a day, and this women would be singlehandedly attending to all of these women.
- 1 Bed - A single wooden bed is all that is available in the health center. No mattress. No sheets.
- 0 Blood Pressure Cuffs - no way to check a mom's blood pressure. Hypertension is one of the leading causes of maternal deaths in the Philippines
- 0 Fetal Dopplers - a basic way to check a baby's heartbeat.
- No running water.
During the meeting, Hilary and I committed to partner with the city and this barangay in the following ways:
Free laboratories for their clients - the government recently passed regulations that mandate all women receive these laboratories in pregnancy, while that is a good step, unfortunately most of these women cannot afford the fees. The health center mentioned this issue and we agreed to be part of the solution.
- Blood Pressure Cuffs - after leaving the meeting, we delivered 2 blood pressure cuffs to the health center the same day.
- Fetal Doppler - we felt that this was really essential to establishing healthy babies, and although we only had 2, we felt it was vital that the health center had at least 1. In essence we are paying it forward.
We had a followup meeting with the group late last week and they were shocked that we would partner with them in this manner, and so quickly move to provide solutions. Hilary and I wanted to share this with you to give you some perspective about the issues that the community faces here and also ask for your assistance: We (and the barangay) need more Fetal Dopplers.
This is a wonderful opportunity for Glory Reborn to expand our care throughout the city and continue to save lives thank you for your partnership and support.