June 25, 2010
I am a nurse midwife who has lived and worked in Senegal and Kenya who founded a small organization called Safe Passage to Motherhood: www.safepassagetomotherhood.org Safe Passage to Motherhood is an Oregon based organization of health care providers and educators who bring life saving information to remote villages in Kenya where women have a 1 in 16 chance of dying from pregnancy related complications. Using a cascade model of training 1 midwife trained 16 trainees who together trained another 28 in July of 2009. The numbers have grown to over 5,000 in 8 months, by using simple story telling circles and hand drawn 'Take Action Cards' that depict the most common signs of risks of pregnancy which require immediate referral to a skilled attendant. This effective approach has been used in Africa and Asia and has made profound improvements in maternal and child health and lowering death rates. We are returning to SW Kenya this July 2010.