Thursday, November 6, 2008
A little thing.
From Mama To Mama:
In northern Haiti:
* Just 1 in 5 women receives skilled medical care during childbirth.
* Haiti has the highest maternal mortaility ratio in the Western Hemisphere.
* 1 in 40 women will die as a result of pregnancy complications, unsafe abortion, or obstetrical emergency.
* Twelve percent of children die before the age of 5.
About Konbit Sante:
Konbit Sante is a Maine-based volunteer partnership working to save lives and improve health care in northern Haiti. In Haitian Creole, a konbit is a traditional method of working together to till your friends' and neighbors fields as well as your own - a cooperative effort. Sante means health. The name defines their committment to address the staggering health problems in northern Haiti where most lack basic care and live without running water.
One aspect of their work involves OB/GYN care . Konbit Sante is working to assemble Safe Birthing Kits to be distributed by traditional birth attendants in the desperately poor Fort St. Michel area of Cap-Haitien. These kits - consisting of plastic sheeting, hand sanitizer, a sterile piece of string and razor blade, and these newborn baby caps - have the potential to reduce infant and maternal mortality, and give babies a safer, healthier start.
My dear friend Poppins is collecting little caps to send to Maine to be added to the Safe Birth Kits that Konabit Sante is assembling. Simple little caps made from soft t-shirts that you probably have laying around your house, shrunk in the wash, oddly stained, or just not a colour you like anymore.
I raided my drawers and found four t-shirts. I cut the simple pattern out after bedtime last night and sewed eight little caps during Matthew's nap this morning. All told, I think I invested under two hours of my time to keep eight little newborn heads warm.
Babies need precious little. I think we tend to forget that in our cushy Western lifestyle. Heck, I was stunned to see what is in the safe birth kit for midwives in Hati. I can tell you that there was a lot more equipment littering my bedroom during my own homebirth last year.