Clinics when it counts

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Counting on clinics

posted Jan 8, 2014 by Isabel Garcia

Progress

Since you raised the funds to allow women with high-risk pregnancies to give birth in clinics or hospitals, we have supported nine women whose health necessitated giving birth in a facility rather than at home. Three of the women were under 20 years old and were pregnant with their first child. Another was having her fifth baby. Two women had to have inductions because their bags of water had already ruptured but labor had not commenced for over 24 hours. All of the women whose clinic or hospital stays we paid for needed to have facility-based births in order to ensure survival for both mother and baby. Because of your support, these nine women had safe deliveries assisted by trained health professionals. All nine women and babies are now at home and doing well.

Risks and challenges

When dealing with labor, it can be hard to estimate how much time we have to transport our clients from their homes to clinics. Occasionally we’ve moved a laboring woman too early and she spent more time than needed away from home. Once, a client waited too long and ended up giving birth in a tricycle on her way to the hospital! Another challenge is deciding which pregnancies are high risk and necessitate a clinic-birth. When they find out they can have a free facility-based delivery most women would choose to do so. However, we don’t have funds to pay for everyone to give birth in clinics, so we have to prioritize the ladies who have the most risk-factors or complications with their pregnancies.

Up close

One of the girls whose birth we recently paid for, Nicole, is 17 years old. She dropped out of high school when she learned that she was pregnant. She had been a late addition to our teen programming, but unfortunately was already pregnant by the time she learned about how the reproductive systems function. Her boyfriend and her mom are going to help her care for the baby. We hope that we’ll be able, eventually, to encourage her to go back to school.

Next steps

Our Clinical Team is continuing to provide prenatal care to over 50 women in our 6 community sites. They’ll continue to help ladies plan where they’ll give birth, and where they’ll source payment if they opt for facilitiy-based birth. We will continue to monitor the health of women and girls who cannot afford to pay for their deliveries but whose risk-factors necessitate giving birth in a facility. Thanks to your help, we will be able to pay for around 20 more facility-based births.

Budget

Line Items Original budget Amount spent so far

All inclusive clinic fees

Transportation

Total

$2,700

$300

$3,000

$765

$15

$780

 

  • Maternal health
  • Reproductive rights

Roots of Health helps high-risk pregnant women in Palawan have clinic-based deliveries.

Why we care: Pregnancies can be high-risk for a variety of reasons and access to emergency obstetric care can mean the difference between life and death.

How we're solving this: Ensuring the costs of obstetric care are covered.

Melody is 17 years old and is going to have her first baby next month. She was a high school student, but was forced to drop out of school when she became pregnant. She now relies on support from her own parents, who scavenge through trash. Because Melody is young and this is her first baby, her pregnancy is considered high-risk and she should not give birth at home. However, her family struggles to earn even $1 per day, and they have no means of raising the $100 they need so Melody can have a safe delivery in a clinic or hospital.

Roots of Health serves countless other women and girls with stories just like Melody. Pregnancies can be high-risk for a variety of reasons: because the mother-to-be is younger than 20 or older than 35, if this is a woman’s first baby or her 6th or 7th, if the expectant mother has diabetes, high blood pressure or preeclampsia, or if there are complications such as if the baby is in breech position or if the baby’s umbilical cord is coiled around its neck.

In order to help ensure the heath and safety of the mother and the baby, Roots of Health staff are committed to assisting with the home deliveries that most of our clients have due to a lack of money to deliver in a clinical setting. However, we frequently identify situations in which the mother-to-be really must deliver in a clinic in order to avoid harm to or even death of the mother or baby. For these pregnancies we ask for your support. On average we assist with 30 high-risk deliveries a year, so every $100 raised translates to another Melody who can safely deliver in a clean environment equipped to handle any complications or emergencies that may arise.

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