Posted by: joan49 | November 14, 2011

The Need is Great…

Right now the focus is on teaching very basic and rudimentary hygiene and sanitation issues since those concepts are severely lacking here, with the idea that we will gradually build on and add to their knowledge base as their understanding increases.   Eventually we want to especially focus on maternal/child health issues since there is an inordinately high infant mortality rate and rate of women dying in childbirth.  See the story below…

This is a case that happened back in July when we were doing our team training in Java, but illustrates a common problem here on many levels.  A 19-year old woman, 8-months pregnant, began having trouble coping with the discomfort of her pregnancy and panicking at the thought of giving birth.  So she went to a local midwife/medicine woman and asked her to make the baby come immediately.  She took the prescribed herbs and went into labor on Thursday but then didn’t progress any further by Friday.  So the local midwife referred her to a government-trained midwife, who gave her an episiotomy to try to help the baby come out, but didn’t use sterile instruments.  By Saturday night it was determined the fetus was now dead in uterus, and the episotomy site had become infected.  She was given no medicine, and by the time the once-weekly ferry showed up on Wednesday that could take her to the nearest hospital on the mainland, the infection from her episotomy had spread to her entire body and the mother was septic.  She survived the 12-hour ferry ride which arrived in Padang Thursday morning, but then died upon reaching the hospital…Locals shook their heads and said this kind of thing, or variations of it, happen all the time…

God Bless the Children








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