Thursday, July 17, 2014

Updates on maternal heath from Chad and Sierre Leone

In two of the most vulnerable regions of the world for maternal and infant health, Angela Gorman  of Life for African Mothers ( sends this update on her life saving work. In this email she refers to a BBC documentary her organization was involved with.  See about it here:

Angela also writes about the addition of Misoprostol to the essential drug list in Sierre Leone.  This drug has been called a "miracle drug" as it prevents hemorrhaging after birth, the leading cause of maternal mortality in developing countries.  Angela and her team raise money to send drugs like Misoprostol to clinics and hospitals in high needs settings, and with the addition of this drug to the essentials like they will more easily be able to save lives with the availability of this drug.

I love receiving updates like this one from the field, and I am learning along with you about the challenges facing women and children in these regions and the solutions (some simple) that can be done to save lives.  Thank you Angela and Life For African Mothers.  Please check out their website, see where they work and what they are doing, and see their link on our Facebook page!

Hi Sarah,

We have received two pieces of amazing news from two of our countries...

I had a conversation with Dr Grace Kodindo over Skype last week from Chad, the 9th anniversary of seeing the PANORAMA programme...

Things have certainly changed in Chad...all down to the PANORAMA programme, with a new maternity hospital and as Grace put it, "There is a new conscience." The President's heart has been melted and also his wife, so much so that they have enabled all pregnant women free healthcare throughout their pregnancies, including normal deliveries/C Sections, medications...absolutely everything. Things seem to have improved significantly. Grace is working at the Ministry of Health and also teaching at the university, particularly new doctors whom she teaches to "have vision." Grace tested the system recently as her niece was due to give birth, so Grace took her into the hospital where nobody knew her. Her niece was not asked for any money and all went well.  

The next piece of news is that I received a text from Dr Samuel Kargbo in the Ministry of Health in Sierra Leone. They have now added Misoprostol to the Essential Drug list! It's incredible because when I first went in January 2009, they didn't even have a protocol of any kind for its administration so we couldn't send any. In October 2009 they had one so we started sending it...the feedback situation wasn't great so we focused on specific hospitals. Now, Misoprostol is on the Essential List, which is amazing. I just had a phone call from the Programme Planner for Reproductive Health in Sierra Leone who has given us assurances regarding the feedback...this is her area of focus and I have introduced the Ministry team to IHP, the organisation which is donating this miracle drug to us. 

Thank you again for your support and very best wishes,

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