Things have been super busy here and also super sweet! We have had 7 babies in the last day, 4 in 2 hours. It’s been all hands on deck and all rooms full! All healthy mamas and all healthy babies! There is an Acholi term “Yala Yala” which means something like everyone coming together in love, family and togetherness. When it gets really busy and all the women are birthing together the Traditional Midwives say it’s Yala Yala! There is a song that goes with it which is often sung at weddings or other family events, it’s always stuck in my head as we have a lot of Yala Yala moments here!
One of the unique aspects about this program is the ambulance we have. When a woman calls in labor the driver and a traditional midwife pick her up at her home and bring her to the birth center if she has no transport, which they usually don’t. After the birth we drive them home. Without this women would walk. Some live very far away and it would take them hours to get here, if they made it at all! Then they would walk home in the hot sun after the birth which is exhausting and puts them at risk for postpartum complications. We also use the ambulance to transport women and babies to the hospital 3 hours away. Without an ambulance if there was an emergency in the middle of the night we’d be in big trouble as there’s essentially no way to get there at night.
Currently we don’t have an ambulance because it broke down and can’t be fixed. Mother Health International is raising money to buy a new vehicle. In the meantime we have a local man who has a truck which is acting as an ambulance. The problem is that he lives 45 min away which is time lost in an emergency or if a mother is laboring quickly (we’ve had a few truck births and I just caught a baby on the path, she started pushing as she stepped out of the truck and only made it a few steps!) A midwife who volunteered here set up a website where people can donate to the ambulance fund. Checks can also be sent directly to Mother Health. The campaign page can be found at: http://startsomegood.com/Venture/mother_health_international/Campaigns/Show/mobile_midwives MHI website is http://www.motherhealthinternational.org/donate.html