Posts tagged maternity

24 Hours In Burco Hospital, Part 2: The Maternity Ward

The town of Burco (also written as ‘Burao’), in Somaliland, has the largest public hospital in the area and serves at least 350,000 people.

Last year, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical teams joined Ministry of Health staff at this eight-ward hospital to start providing high-quality, free medical services. Now, Somali staff work alongside MSF staff from as far away as China and Denmark so that patients with medical emergencies receive quality health care.

The hospital’s emergency room is the point of entry for many patients. More than 4,500 people were seen there during the first nine months of 2012. This first video in a series of three looks at the emergency room.

Photo: Newborn babies at the MSF maternity hospital in eastern Khost Province. Afghanistan 2012 © Hilde Cortier/MSF
MSF to Resume Medical Activities in Khost, Afghanistan
We’re resuming medical activities in our maternity hospital in Khost Province, Afghanistan, which were suspended following an explosion in the hospital in April. 
“We are reopening the hospital because of the overwhelming messages of support for MSF we received from the community, and because of reassurances that our patients and medical staff will be safe inside the hospital,” said Benoit De Gryse, MSF’s country representative in Afghanistan.

Photo: Newborn babies at the MSF maternity hospital in eastern Khost Province. Afghanistan 2012 © Hilde Cortier/MSF

MSF to Resume Medical Activities in Khost, Afghanistan

We’re resuming medical activities in our maternity hospital in Khost Province, Afghanistan, which were suspended following an explosion in the hospital in April. 

“We are reopening the hospital because of the overwhelming messages of support for MSF we received from the community, and because of reassurances that our patients and medical staff will be safe inside the hospital,” said Benoit De Gryse, MSF’s country representative in Afghanistan.

It’s a kind of medical utilitarianism: the patients’ needs come before everything. And people appreciate it: at a checkpoint, a man always gave us bananas because we saved his leg. They show us their babies in the street, and they remind us that the birth was difficult but that they’re still there.

Anna Halford, returning from a four-month mission as a project coordinator in DRC, reflects on the work MSF does to help people enduring daily violence.

Despite a volatile security situation, MSF continues to provide free health care in four reference hospitals, 12 health centers, and four health posts in North Kivu, as well as in four reference hospitals, 19 health centers, and five health posts in the province of South Kivu. There are also a number of cholera treatment centers (CTCs), mobile clinics, and emergency response activities.

At the project in Masisi, MSF performed 105,681 medical consultations in 2011. In the Masisi hospital, 7,226 inpatients were admitted for hospital care and 3,947 women gave birth for free.

Somalia: Responding to Diarrhea in Kismayo

MSF is responding to increased cases of acute watery diarrhea among children and adults in the city of Kismayo in southern Somalia. More patients are being admitted every day. Acute watery diarrhea is highly infectious and can be deadly if not treated in time. Kismayo’s dense population means that a widespread outbreak could easily occur if urgent prevention measures are not taken.

A rapid test among a sample of ten patients indicated that six tested positive for cholera. Of the 65 patients treated so far, 40 suffered severe dehydration and needed immediate hospitalization. The majority of the cases were children under the age of eight.

The most effective way to prevent such outbreaks is chlorination of drinking water sources and adherence to basic hygienic measures. Unfortunately, the use of chlorine is not allowed in the Kismayo area, so MSF community health workers are advising people to strain water through clean cotton fabric and boil it before drinking it, in addition to regularly washing their hands with soap. Photo: Mothers and young children—who are especially vulnerable to diarrhea—wait to be seen in an MSF facility.

Somalia 2011 © Peter Casaer

Somalia: Responding to Diarrhea in Kismayo

MSF is responding to increased cases of acute watery diarrhea among children and adults in the city of Kismayo in southern Somalia. More patients are being admitted every day. Acute watery diarrhea is highly infectious and can be deadly if not treated in time. Kismayo’s dense population means that a widespread outbreak could easily occur if urgent prevention measures are not taken.

A rapid test among a sample of ten patients indicated that six tested positive for cholera. Of the 65 patients treated so far, 40 suffered severe dehydration and needed immediate hospitalization. The majority of the cases were children under the age of eight.

The most effective way to prevent such outbreaks is chlorination of drinking water sources and adherence to basic hygienic measures. Unfortunately, the use of chlorine is not allowed in the Kismayo area, so MSF community health workers are advising people to strain water through clean cotton fabric and boil it before drinking it, in addition to regularly washing their hands with soap.

Photo: Mothers and young children—who are especially vulnerable to diarrhea—wait to be seen in an MSF facility.

Somalia 2011 © Peter Casaer

100,000 People Without Essential Health Care in North DarfurMSF Forced to Suspend Lifesaving Medical Activities After Restrictions Imposed on Its Work

As a result of increasing restrictions imposed by Sudanese authorities, MSF has been forced to suspend most of its medical activities in the Jebel Si region of North Darfur State in Sudan.

Increasing obstacles over the past year led to the suspension of MSF’s activities. No shipments of drugs or medical supplies have been authorized since September 2011, and MSF has encountered growing difficulties obtaining work and travel permits for its staff. Transport options to and from Jebel Si have also been drastically reduced. MSF has been the sole health provider in the region.

“With the reduction of our activities in Jebel Si, more than 100,000 people in the region are left entirely without health care,” said Alberto Cristina, MSF operational manager for Sudan. “If we are not allowed to deliver medicines and supplies to our hospital and health posts soon, disease outbreaks are likely to occur, and maternal and prenatal deaths are likely to increase and may even reach emergency levels.”Photo: Mothers and children at an MSF facility in Jebel Si, where obstacles threaten MSF’s continued operation
Sudan 2012 © MSF

100,000 People Without Essential Health Care in North Darfur

MSF Forced to Suspend Lifesaving Medical Activities After Restrictions Imposed on Its Work

As a result of increasing restrictions imposed by Sudanese authorities, MSF has been forced to suspend most of its medical activities in the Jebel Si region of North Darfur State in Sudan.

Increasing obstacles over the past year led to the suspension of MSF’s activities. No shipments of drugs or medical supplies have been authorized since September 2011, and MSF has encountered growing difficulties obtaining work and travel permits for its staff. Transport options to and from Jebel Si have also been drastically reduced. MSF has been the sole health provider in the region.

“With the reduction of our activities in Jebel Si, more than 100,000 people in the region are left entirely without health care,” said Alberto Cristina, MSF operational manager for Sudan. “If we are not allowed to deliver medicines and supplies to our hospital and health posts soon, disease outbreaks are likely to occur, and maternal and prenatal deaths are likely to increase and may even reach emergency levels.”

Photo: Mothers and children at an MSF facility in Jebel Si, where obstacles threaten MSF’s continued operation

Sudan 2012 © MSF

Somebody Help: The Forgotten Population in North Darfur

In the remote Jebel Si area of North Darfur, MSF runs a hospital, five health posts, and a mobile clinic. These are the only health facilities in the area, and they serve a permanent population of 100,000, as well as about 10,000 seasonal nomads. The majority of MSF’s patients in Jebel Si are women and children.

But now a series of obstacles threaten to seriously hamper MSF’s ability to deliver medical assistance. Vital medical and logistical supplies have been prevented from reaching the area, work permits have not been granted, and physical access to the region has become increasingly difficult.

As a result of these obstacles, MSF has been forced to scale down its activities dramatically. Unless urgent steps are taken to rectify the situation, the people of Jebel Si will be faced with the reality of a future without essential health care.Photo: An MSF staff member checks a child for malnutrition in Jebel Si, where obstacles threaten the continued operation of MSF’s health posts, the only such facilities in the area.
Sudan 2012 © MSF

Somebody Help: The Forgotten Population in North Darfur

In the remote Jebel Si area of North Darfur, MSF runs a hospital, five health posts, and a mobile clinic. These are the only health facilities in the area, and they serve a permanent population of 100,000, as well as about 10,000 seasonal nomads. The majority of MSF’s patients in Jebel Si are women and children.

But now a series of obstacles threaten to seriously hamper MSF’s ability to deliver medical assistance. Vital medical and logistical supplies have been prevented from reaching the area, work permits have not been granted, and physical access to the region has become increasingly difficult.

As a result of these obstacles, MSF has been forced to scale down its activities dramatically. Unless urgent steps are taken to rectify the situation, the people of Jebel Si will be faced with the reality of a future without essential health care.

Photo: An MSF staff member checks a child for malnutrition in Jebel Si, where obstacles threaten the continued operation of MSF’s health posts, the only such facilities in the area.
Sudan 2012 © MSF

With the reduction of our activities in Jebel Si, more than 100,000 people in the region are left entirely without healthcare. If we are not allowed to deliver medicines and supplies to our hospital and health posts soon, disease outbreaks are likely to occur, and maternal and prenatal deaths are likely to increase and may even reach emergency levels.

Alberto Cristina, Doctors Without Borders operational manager for Sudan.

As a result of increasing restrictions imposed by Sudanese authorities, Doctors Without Borders has been forced to suspend most of its medical activities in the Jebel Si region of North Darfur State in Sudan.

On this Mother’s Day, let’s remember that 1,000 women still tragically die every day in childbirth or from pregnancy-related complications that are preventable with skilled clinicians, drugs and equipment. Maternal death is an ongoing crisis, but it is an avoidable crisis and it deserves our attention.
Kara Blackburn, from Brisbane, Australia, is a registered nurse/midwife who joined Doctors Without Borders in 2006. She has practiced midwifery for 14 years. In her current role as medical advisor for women’s health, based in Sydney, Blackburn supports a number of Doctors Without Borders women’s health projects globally.

Read the rest of her article from WomensENews.org
HIV in infants born to HIV-positive mothers is a big problem in the developing world. There are around 2 million HIV-positive children in developing countries, whereas in the United Kingdom, for example, there are just 70. So, we’ve almost got rid of this problem in the West, but in the developing world it’s a big problem.
Dr. Nathan Ford, MSF Medical Aid Coordinator, in an interview on Voice of America about better treatment for HIV-positive pregnant women.
It is only in this moment that I start to process the injustice of this. She is 18 years old. She was having her first baby. That is what is killing her.
Veronica Ades, an obstetrician-gynecologist on her first MSF mission in Aweil, South Sudan.

Read more from her blog post.
My perspective definitely changed. This program has absolutely had a positive impact in Nigeria. In 2011, we performed more surgeries than any other fistula hospital in the country, and we had many women leaving our hospital dry, or at least able to live some semblance of a normal life.
Kate Pittel
A Nurse with MSF speaking about her time in Nigeria

Read the full article from the Oakland Press here.
The Avoidable Crisis of Maternal DeathMSF makes it a priority to provide lifesaving, emergency obstetric care in both acute and chronic humanitarian crises. MSF teams strive to address the five main causes of maternal death: hemorrhage, sepsis, unsafe abortion, hypertensive disorders, and obstructed labour.

	In a conflict or crisis, pregnant women are even more vulnerable because health services have collapsed, are inadequate, or are totally non-existent. But these women need access to quality emergency obstetric care whether they live in a conflict zone, in a refugee camp, or under plastic sheeting after a devastating earthquake.

	In fact, they need the same help that all pregnant women facing a complication need: access to appropriate medical assistance—skilled medical staff, drugs, and equipment—to save their life and the life of their baby.

	Conflict, epidemics, natural disasters, or the complete breakdown of a country’s health system are crises faced by MSF’s millions of patients around the world every day. But a maternal death: that’s the avoidable crisis.

Infographic by Will Owen

The Avoidable Crisis of Maternal Death

MSF makes it a priority to provide lifesaving, emergency obstetric care in both acute and chronic humanitarian crises. MSF teams strive to address the five main causes of maternal death: hemorrhage, sepsis, unsafe abortion, hypertensive disorders, and obstructed labour.

In a conflict or crisis, pregnant women are even more vulnerable because health services have collapsed, are inadequate, or are totally non-existent. But these women need access to quality emergency obstetric care whether they live in a conflict zone, in a refugee camp, or under plastic sheeting after a devastating earthquake.

In fact, they need the same help that all pregnant women facing a complication need: access to appropriate medical assistance—skilled medical staff, drugs, and equipment—to save their life and the life of their baby.

Conflict, epidemics, natural disasters, or the complete breakdown of a country’s health system are crises faced by MSF’s millions of patients around the world every day. But a maternal death: that’s the avoidable crisis.

Infographic by Will Owen

Complicated delivery

Our journey back to Kitchanga was difficult. On the morning of our departure, we received a 17 year old girl, Nina, at our health center in Kivuye. Nina was pregnant and her contractions had started the night before. Unfortunately, the baby’s head was in an occipito-transverse position and the labour was failing to progress. This means that the baby’s head was stuck in the pelvis. The road conditions were bad…We finally arrived after a 3 hour drive. We were received by one of obstetricians, Dr Marie-Josee. Nina was swiftly wheeled into the delivery room. The baby’s head was just visible. The ventouse was tried three times without success. Just before we decided to go for a caesarean section, Nina pushed for the final time. A midwife quickly clambered onto some steps and applied fundal pressure, pressing hard as Nina grunted and cried out. All of a sudden, a little baby girl popped out. She was blue and the cord was around her neck. After brief but intense stimulation, we heard the welcome sound of a baby’s cry.

Nina is now doing ok but both mother and baby are still in hospital. She is actually one of the lucky ones… Happy stories like Nina give us just enough hope to smile and square up to another day.

Xx
Angie


Angeline Wee is a Family Physician working in Kitchanga in the North Kivu province of Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. This is her second mission with MSF.

Complicated delivery

Our journey back to Kitchanga was difficult. On the morning of our departure, we received a 17 year old girl, Nina, at our health center in Kivuye. Nina was pregnant and her contractions had started the night before. Unfortunately, the baby’s head was in an occipito-transverse position and the labour was failing to progress. This means that the baby’s head was stuck in the pelvis. The road conditions were bad…

We finally arrived after a 3 hour drive. We were received by one of obstetricians, Dr Marie-Josee. Nina was swiftly wheeled into the delivery room. The baby’s head was just visible. The ventouse was tried three times without success. Just before we decided to go for a caesarean section, Nina pushed for the final time. A midwife quickly clambered onto some steps and applied fundal pressure, pressing hard as Nina grunted and cried out. All of a sudden, a little baby girl popped out. She was blue and the cord was around her neck. After brief but intense stimulation, we heard the welcome sound of a baby’s cry.

Nina is now doing ok but both mother and baby are still in hospital. She is actually one of the lucky ones… Happy stories like Nina give us just enough hope to smile and square up to another day.

Xx
Angie Angeline Wee is a Family Physician working in Kitchanga in the North Kivu province of Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. This is her second mission with MSF.

The insufficient capacity of the Iraqi health system to respond to the medical needs of the population has contributed to an unprecedented increase of maternal and infant mortality rates in the country. In 2007, the World Health Organization estimated the Maternal Mortality ratio to be 300 per 100,000 live births. According to the latest UNICEF State of the World’s Children report, Iraq presents a neonatal mortality rate of 64, while neighboring Syria and Jordan presented a neonatal mortality rate of 7 and 16 respectively.
Shinjiro Murata,
An MSF field coordinator from Japan, worked with MSF in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf, where his main focus was setting up a new project focused on improving perinatal and obstetric care in one of the largest referral hospitals in the region.

Here, he talks about his experience.
Iraq: Working to Reduce Neonatal Mortality in Najaf


Shinjiro Murata, a MSF field coordinator from Japan, worked with MSF in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf, where his main focus was setting up a new project focused on improving perinatal and obstetric care in one of the largest referral hospitals in the region. Here, he talks about his experience:

“I arrived in Najaf more than a year ago, in October 2010, to start an MSF project in the Al Zahara District Hospital. Najaf is located 160 kilometers (99 miles) south of Baghdad and is one of the holiest cities for Shia Muslims. It was not an easy task, and surely a challenging experience to be working in such a different country. My previous experience with MSF was in Africa, so when I started working in Najaf I realized that I would need to see things from a different perspective and adapt to the reality of a country that used to have a very well organized health system but, due to decades of conflict and international sanctions, has seen a rampant deterioration in health care provision.

MSF decided to start a medical program to support the main Ministry of Health referral hospital, the Al Zahara District Hospital, for obstetrics, gynecology, and pediatrics in Najaf city. The hospital is one of the largest hospitals in the region, with a 340-bed capacity, and it deals with approximately 1,950 deliveries per month. These account for almost 50 percent of the deliveries carried out in the whole Najaf Governorate, which has a total population of 1.2 million people. It is most of the time overcrowded with patients and the quality of medical services provided is sometimes not adequate.

After more than one year in Najaf I have seen that medical needs in the country are still very high. Until peace is restored in Iraq, MSF needs to continue supporting these pregnant women and newborn children. MSF is one of the few international medical humanitarian organizations working inside Iraq thanks to its independent, neutral, and impartial nature.Iraq 2011 © MSF
Two newborn babies in Al Zahara District Hospital, where MSF has been working since 2010

Iraq: Working to Reduce Neonatal Mortality in Najaf

Shinjiro Murata, a MSF field coordinator from Japan, worked with MSF in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf, where his main focus was setting up a new project focused on improving perinatal and obstetric care in one of the largest referral hospitals in the region. Here, he talks about his experience:

“I arrived in Najaf more than a year ago, in October 2010, to start an MSF project in the Al Zahara District Hospital. Najaf is located 160 kilometers (99 miles) south of Baghdad and is one of the holiest cities for Shia Muslims. It was not an easy task, and surely a challenging experience to be working in such a different country. My previous experience with MSF was in Africa, so when I started working in Najaf I realized that I would need to see things from a different perspective and adapt to the reality of a country that used to have a very well organized health system but, due to decades of conflict and international sanctions, has seen a rampant deterioration in health care provision.

MSF decided to start a medical program to support the main Ministry of Health referral hospital, the Al Zahara District Hospital, for obstetrics, gynecology, and pediatrics in Najaf city. The hospital is one of the largest hospitals in the region, with a 340-bed capacity, and it deals with approximately 1,950 deliveries per month. These account for almost 50 percent of the deliveries carried out in the whole Najaf Governorate, which has a total population of 1.2 million people. It is most of the time overcrowded with patients and the quality of medical services provided is sometimes not adequate.

After more than one year in Najaf I have seen that medical needs in the country are still very high. Until peace is restored in Iraq, MSF needs to continue supporting these pregnant women and newborn children. MSF is one of the few international medical humanitarian organizations working inside Iraq thanks to its independent, neutral, and impartial nature.

Iraq 2011 © MSF
Two newborn babies in Al Zahara District Hospital, where MSF has been working since 2010