What an amazing week we had training nurses and visiting the villages served by CleanBirth.org’s efforts!
The CleanBirth.org team, including 3 Yale midwives, began with a meeting with our local Lao partner ACD. We discussed the progress that has been made and explored options for moving forward. The birth kits are working very well they said and our investment in monitoring and evaluation training has paid off. Data collection has come a long way, due to these trainings. Our cooperation and communication with ACD is growing stronger and stronger.
After lunch we headed to meet with the Salavan Provincial Health Department. There we learned that the government is supportive of our birth kits distribution and would like us to focus on promoting birth in the clinics. To that end, they requested that CleanBirth provide funding for Family Fun Days at the clinics to promote the birth kits and other services offered at the government clinics. We agreed to fund 2-3 pilot “Fun Days”, as well as continuing to fund the annual Yale midwives training.
For the next 2 full days we trained 60 nurses and staff. We started each day by asking what the nurses would like to learn. Then we did our best to fulfill their requests. We reviewed CleanBirth kits with a pre-test and then had nurses display the use of the kits. Then we had Yale midwives address questions about birth and demonstrate techniques.
We spent the rest of our time visiting clinics and villages. We learned that kits are a big part of safe birth at clinics. Their use has become standard operating procedure in the clinics. The clinics even use our soap after the birth — since there is no soap available. The water filters we provided are being used to give mothers access to clean water when they are laboring.
We also visited with families who have used the kits. We learned that they used the kits in their births and that they appreciated the cleanliness they provide.
In the the final analysis with our local Lao partner, ACD, we determined that CleanBirth will continue to provide as many birth kits as nurses need, we will continue to offer them additional training via annually, and we will fund 2-3 “Family Fun Days” at the clinics. A great trip and a clear plan for 2015!
Here are some stories from the villages: