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Birth in a Clinic

One of our saddest realizations was that the clinic, despite its best intentions, could do very little for the people of the community. There is no way to contact the doctors after they leave the clinic for the night, so birth emergencies may be better off happening at home except there is one nurse in the clinic all night, and he or she does have access to some supplies.

This is the supply shelf in the maternity room. If you don’t see it here, they don’t have it. This is actually very well stocked because a medical group from the US had just come and brought 19 suitcases of supplies with them.

This is the pharmacy in the clinic. Again, it is well stocked because of the group from the US that donated these medications.

Before you start thinking you need to get as many medical supplies as possible to send consider this item donated by a group in the United States. Their intentions were honorable, to save babies that are born premature. However their donation is not usable because there is no power at the clinic. The generator barely keeps the lights on, it cannot handle equipment like this.

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas, childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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