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. .