Monday, September 12, 2011

Lessons to Learn ~

I learned this week that the government hospital down the street employs a number of TBAs that run their ANC program. I can’t say how many of them there are but together they deliver about the same number of babies monthly as we do in our clinic.

After talking to a Kenyan nurse who just joined the staff I was happy to compare notes with her. She tells me that the main struggle for them is getting the women to deliver at the hospital too. It seems that the TBAs are using the hospital for training and free medicines then encouraging the women to deliver at home so they can charge them a fee.

I suspected as much for many of the women in our program, especially after one of the female translators left suddenly. I think she was secretly siphoning off business.

Nevertheless, more women than ever are delivering with us which is a huge success. A year ago this month only 5 women came to deliver at our clinic and all of them where major emergencies. Some of them put hair on my chest and steel in my veins, but if I recall correctly they were all the result of not getting help earlier in labor.

But a lot can happen in a year, and this month is proving to be quite different. I’ve already delivered 10 babies --none of which have been crazy emergencies.

In fact, it’s been ages since I’ve had a crazy birth. Why? It’s simple. The women are finally coming early enough for such nonsense to be prevented.

I love seeing these changes and hope to see even more of them. But the real question is how do I teach the TBAs? How do we get them to bring the women in to the hospital for delivery? How do we encourage them to accurately report their statistics?

Right now I am seeing about 400-500 women for prenatals each month but I’m delivering only 20-25 of them.

Something is missing. Something is very off. Something needs to change.

Any ideas?

Please pray for me. I need wisdom from above to know how to proceed. Please pray for these women. I so desire them to be healthy and live. I so want to see them strong and their babies thriving! Please pray for the TBAs to see the importance of getting these women the best care. Thanks.