Midwives for Haiti began teaching auxiliaires in the Central Plateau of
Haiti in 2006. In the last 12 years, we have trained 155 skilled birth
attendants. In that training we focused on rural communities in remote
areas. In 2010, we began mobile clinics, visiting 22 villages once a
month. This provided prenatal and postpartum care to thousands of
women, as well as a training site for our students. This model of care
covered a large area, but it was not perfect, by any means. Monthly visits
are not enough to uncover high risk conditions such as pre-eclampsia
before they become life-threatening.
In partnership with the Ministry of Health, we will now have 8 weekly
prenatal clinics all over the Central Plateau. Most of the same midwives
will be working in these clinics. Each skilled birth attendant (SBA) will
travel by moto to the same two clinics each week, providing prenatal
care, postpartum care, family planning, and matwòn training. By
training the local matwòns to do clean deliveries and recognize danger
signs, they will improve maternal mortality. These communities will
also offer the students an opportunity to assess a community’s needs
and recommend solutions.
Weekly clinics will allow for closer monitoring, with return visits in
high-risk situations as well as greater access to postpartum and
newborn care. The community and the matwòns will build a
relationship with the midwife. The Ministry of Health is providing a
clean private room for prenatal care, usually with electricity and water.
We honored the SBA’s with a party to celebrate their 8 years of service.
One of them will be a regional manager, and travel to all the clinics.
Eight clinics is not enough to cover the Central Plateau, but we are
seeking other clinics to add a weekly prenatal clinic. Other NGO’s
operate clinics in the Central Plateau, and we hope to partner with them
to expand the number of clinics.