16 October 2015

When Babies Don't Cry

Last week we had visitors from Village Life Outreach Project in Cincinnati, Ohio--an organization which was instrumental in helping Mama Maisha get started.  Every October they bring a team of medical professionals and students to do mobile clinics in villages around Shirati.

One of the nurses, Tina, who has 37 years of experience in obsterics, offered to do a training for Traditional Birth Attendants about the principles and skills of the Helping Babies Breathe curriculum.  Last Saturday we went out to Nyambogo village with Tina, a pediatrics nurse named Megan and a pediatrics resident named Sara.  They taught twelve TBAs how to help a baby breathe immediately after birth using only some blankets and a bulb syringe.

These TBAs are, on average, over 60 years of age and uneducated, so it is always inspiring to see them shamelessly put themselves out there to learn new skills and techniques and tools in order to help the mothers and babies they serve.  Several of the women really struggled to learn the technique of using a bulb syringe on a plastic baby, but they committed themselves to mastering this new skill.  They told us they appreciate this training because it is so much more effective than having a mother who has just exhausted herself delivering a baby then suck the mucus out of the baby's mouth and nose.

We are excited to track down enough bulb syringes for all of these TBAs and get this same training for the rest of the 28 women we have been training to improve the available delivery services for pregnant women in rural Tanzania!

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