We work in collaboration with Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population and other organizations to deliver culturally appropriate, high impact health interventions.
We train skilled birth attendants from rural areas and get them to women who need them.
Our programs educate and empower Haitian women and men to improve the health of their communities, creating lasting change in their lives and the lives of the mothers and children they care for.
Our rigorous 18 month training program is taught entirely by Haitian professionals and includes a thorough curriculum that aligns with International Confederation of Midwives standards. Students are supported by one on one mentorship during both their didactic and clinical learning. Our post graduation job placement assistance has our alumni working in 54 health centers throughout Haiti, including two Heads of Midwifery.
Upon completion of the program, graduates receive a Certificate in Essential Obstetrics from the Ministry of Public Health and Population and go on to work in hospitals, birth centers, and community projects throughout Haiti. Since 2006, we’ve trained 204 Skilled Birth Attendants. As there are currently 400 obstetricians and 201 nurse-midwives in Haiti, our graduates make up about 30% of the total skilled providers working in Haiti.
When we began working in Hinche in 2006, only one obstetrician and one nurse staffed the local St. Therese Hospital. And, they only worked day shifts. If you were a laboring mother when the hospital was closed, care was not available until 8am the following day and not at all on the weekends. The cleaning lady often caught babies during the night. Since many of the women coming to the hospital at this time were only doing so because they required emergency care, many mothers died.
Over time, as we trained and graduated more students, word spread throughout the community that the hospital was now a safe place to give birth. We now pay the salaries of 18 Skilled Birth Attendants working there, utilize the hospital as the site of our clinical training, and support the maternity center with further resources and supplies. Mothers no longer have to worry that they will be turned away, that there will be no one to care for them, or that they won’t have access to life-saving medication.
Each year, over 2,900 births are attended by our students and Skilled Birth Attendants at St. Therese Hospital.
Our midwives travel to seven community clinics, in partnership with the Ministry of Population and Public Health. These weekly clinics offer prenatal and postpartum care, immunizations, education, and limited primary care including treatment for intestinal worms. Without the Community Clinics, the health of mothers and babies would be at risk.
Matwòns are Haiti’s traditional birth attendants. These wise men and women attend an estimated 75% of deliveries in Haiti, most of which are outside of medical facilities. (UNICEF 2013) For mothers living in rural areas without access to medical facilities, matwòns are crucial.
Although these men and women learn valuable skills from family members and friends, many have not been formally trained to recognize danger signs during pregnancy and birth to utilize life saving maneuvers for labor and delivery. Our Matwòn Outreach Program offers a 5-month formal training program in achieving clean, safe deliveries by utilizing strategies that have been statistically proven to reduce rates of maternal and neonatal death.
Along with providing matròns with Clean Delivery Kits, we are working to better integrate them into the medical system. Many matròns who have graduated from our program now accompany high risk mothers to prenatal care clinics or to medical facilities for delivery. Watch this short video to see the program in action.
Since beginning this collaboration in 2012, we’ve trained 134 matwòns in five remote communities, provided over 1,066 Clean Delivery Kits, and have seen an exponential increase in referrals of high risk mothers. .