The Planning Continues

While Tammy and I gather supplies, raise money and determine the content of the training, Flory Zozo is working in DR Congo to ensure the success of the project. In his latest email, he sent me the following list of projects he is working on for the training: Meet the provincial minister of Health to …

Fertility Awareness

One of the challenges we will face is helping the women prevent unwanted pregnancy. It may seem easy from the perspective of the developed world, but remember that access to any method of birth control for women in rural areas of Central Africa will be limited. Although we will talk about the methods available, the …

Birth Teaching Tools

It is one thing to stand in front of a group of people and lecture, it is another to teach them skills they will need to use. We are going to teach skills. As such, we need some tools to help demonstrate the concepts we are talking about. But with little to no money, how …

Tickets are Ordered

The tickets have been ordered. As long as everything goes OK with our Visas we will be in Burundi in late July. We will be leaving the United States on July 25th, and making a very long journey to Central Africa.

Midwifery Tools

Planning a birth skills training in a developing country has many challenges. One of those is determining which tools we should take. Midwives who work in developed countries have such a wide variety of tools available to them, but we will be limited by how much money we can spend on tools, and how many …

Nutrition

I was excited to be taking a nutrition course this summer, since so much of the help the Skilled Birth Attendants will be able to give is in improving the health through nutrition and lifestyle. So far there hasn’t been much I didn’t know already. Yesterday and today the class focused on vitamins and minerals …

Do Traditional Birth Attendants Help?

One of my concerns as we began this process was that the WHO has recently changed focus from the training of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) stating that training for TBAs takes away from efforts that will make a real difference in maternal health. On the whole I like the WHO, but I couldn’t agree with …

E-bay and the elusive Laptop

One of the items Jeff thinks will be helpful to take is a laptop computer. We can use it to bring birth videos and other visual materials for the women we train; it gives us a place to store photos so we can take even more; and because I know they have internet access at …

Yellow Fever and Visas

Tammy and I are now both vaccinated against yellow fever. This is one of the requirements to get a VISA for Burundi or DRC. Our next steps are to book our flight and apply for our Visas–which both take money. People have started to promise money for the project, but we each only have a …

African Birth Training in the News

Tammy Ryan was interviewed by a local reporter with the Quad City Times. You can read the full article here: Quad City Times. But I just want to say that I can’t believe I would have told the reporter that getting pregnant was a death sentence for these women. Pregnancy is NOT dangerous anywhere in …