Our Maternity and Infant Care Program at St. Joseph Clinic in Thomassique, Haiti, is currently staffed by 3 full-time midwives and a nurse skilled in midwifery who provide pre-natal consultations, assist with births, and conduct education sessions on postpartum and newborn health.
The growth of this program since 2012 has been made possible by support from foundations committed to working with us to improve maternal and infant care in the region, by having experienced midwives on staff at the Clinic, training traditional birth attendants to work in Thomassique’s outlying villages, and ensuring availability of medicines needed for prenatal and postnatal care.
In the first six months of 2017 (January through June), 200 babies were born at the Clinic, and in the outlying villages of Thomassique, our Matwons (Traditional Birth Attendants) have facilitated 688 at-home births!
With 75% of births in the region taking place in the home, extending maternal care to the outlying villages by training Matwons has become an important way for the Clinic to help women in remote villages have safe deliveries, and reduce maternal and infant mortality in the community.
In May 2017, our 4th class of Matwons completed their 22 weeks of training, and these 15 new Matwons joined the 29 who were previously trained, as they bring their new skills to help improve maternal and infant care throughout the region.
The Matwons come to the Clinic each month for additional education sessions, and to meet with the Clinic midwives. They also pick up “clean birthing kits” to use for the month.