What impact have you had?
To date, 12 TBAs are involved and are having historic meetings with the limited health care staff that exist in this remote area of Malawi. These meetings are historiacal because it is the first time the TBAs have been invited in to the clinic to see what happens there and they are introducing and practicing the concept of prenatal care rather than just providing birthing care. Most importantly, the women in there feel they are connected to alarger community of women who are addressing the same issues.
A community meeting was held comprisedf of all the stakeholders: chief, district health officer, nursing staff, TBAs, pregnant women and those waiting to deliber to discuss what the mothers said they need to make a system of care that would work for them. As a result of the meeting, a local woman was chosen to manage the project and the professional sstaff and TBAs have agreed to work together with clearly defined roles. The US Birthing Project will provide training for the TBAs and side by side support to the nursing staff and medicine and supplies, eg beds, gloves, pitocin
There is a sense of hope that while the world is working to assure that all women are delivered by what the international organizations define as the appropriate professional ...in the meantime...women in Mchinji will be provided support to access prenatal care and the safest delivery possible provided by a trained TBA or nurse. The measurable objectives are: the number of prenatal visits will increase and the number of women who deliver at the clinic will also increase and the TBAs will create/embrace a role for themselves that works in collaboration with the health care system and the pregnant women will have meet their stated need of having someone to provide social support.
What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.
Year 1: Planning, implementing the project and assessing/evaluating for improvement, meeting the program objectives.The project has identified money for travel, basic staff, medicine and supplies and limited documentation.
Year 2:Opportunity for the project participants to continue to meet and discuss the the project outcomes and to address the sytemic issues that prevent them from having healthy babies,, such as limited life options for girls/women and to use the project to determine what else needs to be integrated into their project design.
Year 3: The project will be ready to be replicated in other communities based on their success in establishing protocol for creating a conmprehensive system to address a global issue. Ata time when the world needs thousands of new health care providers, the Mchinji project is demonstrating how to integrate/educate/support TBAs who have the calling to be with women during their reproductive years as a friend/advisor and supporter to access whatever care is available.
What would prevent your project from being a success?
Nothing. These women are going to make this happen!