Happy International Midwives Day!
In communities around the world, midwives provide crucial care to women and help to ensure that all mothers are guaranteed the right to a safe birth. At MADRE, we have been proud to partner with Midwives for Peace, a grassroots group of Palestinian and Israeli midwives who have joined together to promote peace and women's health.
In honor of this day, MADRE also received the statement below from the organization Circle of Health International (COHI). COHI works around the globe to provide quality reproductive, maternal and infant care to women in crisis settings. After the earthquake in Haiti, MADRE supported COHI's work to provide urgent care to pregnant displaced Haitian women. In their statement, they tell the story of two Haitian midwives:
COHI would like to take this moment to thank ALL of the midwives we've worked with over the years. We have worked with some of the strongest, most compassionate, most dedicated, and most talented midwives in these past seven years, and we wish each and every one of you the greatest success with your calling. On this special day, COHI wants to highlight our two midwives working in Fond Parisien, Haiti.
I am constantly amazed at the dedication and determination of our two Haitian midwives - Ms. Lapaix and Ms. Michele. These two ladies work tirelessly to ensure the women living in and around Fond Parisien have 24/7 access to quality reproductive, maternal, and newborn care. During my last trip, I watched as they joyfully handed a healthy newborn to its mother, while at the same time comforting and mourning with a mother who had just lost her child. While this situation is not the norm, it does highlight the need for continued community outreach and education, as this labor complication could have been identified and possibly prevented if the mother had come to the clinic earlier. It is the dedication of these two women that has made COHI's Haiti program as successful as it is - both in providing direct patient care and also in community education and outreach. I am honored to work with both of these amazing women, and each time I return home I realize I've left a piece of my heart with them in Haiti. Mesi anpil!!!
Rachel Bedenbaugh, Haiti Program Manager
For more information on COHI and their inspirational work, visit their website here.