Saving Mothers’ team of obstetrician-gynecologists spent the past week in rural Guatemala, marking the start of Saving Mothers’ new POWHER (Providing Outreach in Women’s Health and Educational Resources) program.
On the ground, our team provided general obstetric and gynecological care to the women in the community. When a 44 year-old woman came into the clinic with vaginal bleeding, Saving Mothers’ obgyns diagnosed her with previa and immediately performed an emergency cesarean section. (See a clip of the video below – Warning: Graphic content. Viewer discretion is advised).
Had the woman delivered without trained medical professional help, she would have, suffered from life-threatening hemorrhage. The happy mother was grateful that Saving Mothers’ team was there to ensure her and her baby’s well-being, especially since the mother had lost her eight children to a severe mudslide in 2005.
The POWHER program goes beyond providing obgyn care. As part of the comprehensive women’s health program, Saving Mothers is incorporating its birthing kit initiative to address community health needs. Throughout the week, Saving Mothers’ team learned about local delivery practices through focus group discussions with over 10 comadronas(traditional birth attendants) in the community.
Saving Mothers will continue building upon the Guatemala POWHER program in January 2010.
This article from CNN tells the story of a 12 year old girl, Fawziya Ammodi, who died during childbirth after being forced into marriage in Hodeidah, Yemen. Tragically, this is a common occurence in Yemen, where impoverished families often give up their daughters in return for dowries or simply to reduce the financial burden on the family. According to UNICEF, which issued a statement regarding the child’s death, girls who give birth before the age of 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their 20s. Please take a moment to read the story and learn more about this important issue.