Prior to working for Midwives for Haiti as Volunteer Coordinator, I knew little about maternal and childhood health. However it did not take long to become acclimated with the environment and aware of the challenges that women must overcome to give life. Working on the ground, you could see how factors such as late to care, lack of prenatal care, inadequate nutrition and inability to access medical care contributed to Haiti’s alarming maternal mortality rate.
When Adeka, one of our very own midwifery students, died a week after giving birth and two weeks short of her graduation, it rocked me to my core. When our clinical director and I rushed into town to purchase oxygen because there was no oxygen in the hospital and despite our efforts, a young mother died due to aspiration pneumonia, I could not contain myself. When medical volunteers came back from the hospital with countless stories of women who had succumbed to preeclampsia and complicated deliveries that resulted in neonatal deaths, it felt like a never-ending cycle. With each story and personal experience came a level of frustration and numbness knowing that this was not the fault of the women but an access issue.
Access to transportation, Access to nutrition, Access to evidenced based care, Access to employment, Access to education.
Therefore, in lieu of Haitian Heritage Month, International Midwives Day, Haitian Flag Day, Mental Health Awareness Month, Mother’s Day, I am challenging 10,000 people to donate $1.00. That is right, a dollar. Your dollar will go towards helping MFH maintain operations while dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 to ensure that women still have access to medical services.
Let’s stand together and show that we are Stronger Together. There is power in starting small. There is power in numbers if we all pitch in. It is possible to create change through a single and simple act as giving a dollar.
|About Stecy Casseus|
Stecy earned her bachelors in international affairs from Northeastern University in 2017. Initially, her goal was to become a diplomat but after serving as a volunteer coordinator for MFH, she developed a strong interest in public health. Since her experience in Haiti, she has worked in various capacities related to maternal, newborn and child health .