“20 km to the maternity clinic”

May 2, 21:28

the society

DIDAM – Pregnant women in Kenya sometimes have to walk twenty kilometers to reach the clinic where they give birth. There are hardly any facilities and no specialist help. Marlos van Vuuren traveled from Didam and trained nurses in three clinics about problems during childbirth.

Written by Karen van der Velden

“There are no specialized Maasai Mara midwives who guide women during pregnancy and childbirth. Only nurses work there, and they do everything. There are hospitals in big cities, which are often an hour and a half to two hours away. And most people don’t have a car. When I was there, The child turned yellow and lethargic. We did our best to find an ambulance ready to drive to the hospital, but we didn’t succeed. In the end, the family collected the money and the child was taken to the hospital in a taxi.”

education
“There are also stories that don’t end well. I heard about a nine-year-old girl who got pregnant. She and the baby died because they didn’t get to the hospital on time. A girl this age couldn’t give birth naturally. It hurts that a lot of girls don’t They still get married. Eighty percent of women are circumcised. The Maa Trust, the organization I went to Kenya for, provides information about this to parents and provides sex education to young people. Then it’s also about marriage, rape and circumcision.”

Marlos is a midwife for nearly four years in Duisburg, Derren and Brümen. She also works as an ultrasound technician for a year. Twice a year her friend’s aunt Nils goes with The Maa Trust to the Maasai Mara. It helps the residents to generate income by making bags and leather belts. They are decorated with beads or beads and are sold. “I asked what I could do. It seemed that there was a need for information and training for nurses on certain topics: what to do in case of blood loss or cord prolapse and how to resuscitate. I spent three weeks there with a midwife.”

to prepare
There was a year between the plan to go to Kenya and the trip itself. Marlowe time is used for preparation. She made an instruction booklet and collected materials such as resuscitators and doptons that allow you to hear the baby’s heartbeat. The nurses taught us how to resuscitate a child. They did this by mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Nurses can choose between doing nothing and taking action that risks blowing too much air into the baby’s lungs. The breathing balloon has an overflow valve, so that excess air can escape. †

About thirty women come a month to give birth. The nurses learned the basics and this in itself is no different from what Marloes does during home birth: “Of course we are better trained, we have more materials at our disposal and a hospital around the corner. The nurses were very happy to take what we told us. What you can do without drugs Or limited equipment of course.One clinic had an ultrasound machine, but that didn’t work.They also didn’t have an ultrasound technician to analyze the images.

Some clinics are subsidized by the government. Then they get more medication, for example against blood loss. Or a reception table where you can treat a baby. If there is none, the child is put to bed. In a clinic I was in, they had one venous cyst. Government-supported clinics have a full cupboard.” There are about six nurses working in the clinics: “So there are a few staff, but they were very keen to learn. I thought that was a very positive thing.”

Breastfeeding
Pia, a midwife, has been educating women about breastfeeding. Women often stop within six months, when they do not already have a good alternative. Bea has taught women how to breastfeed for longer in a painless way and keep milk production going. Women are afraid that they do not have enough, but then they will have to breastfeed the baby more often. They stop if they get pregnant again for fear of giving birth too early, but that’s a myth.”

water box
The Maa Trust is located in the middle of the savannah. Here are the headquarters and buildings where leather and beads are made. Some staff sleep there and there is a guest house for volunteers and researchers. Marlos: When I opened the bedroom door, I saw elephants and giraffes. During my stay, a tiger came to the property. He tried to catch a monkey from one of the trees near the kitchen.”

Marloes prefers to go more often, but travel and accommodation costs are not reimbursed, and as a freelance worker, she has no income if she does not work. “I have seen the good work of the Maa Trust up close. All the resources go directly to the residents. If you want to know more about this take a look at themaatrust.org website. All the projects are listed there, but also how you can contribute.”

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