In the Masai village of Nadururu, Tanzania, too many women were dying in childbirth. Tanzania’s maternal mortality rate is 10 times that of the United States, and in a rural area among a minority people it is even worse.
About 2,000 people live in Nadururu, which is 15 miles from a road and has no electricity. The people had no connection to the health system and all births occured at home. If there was a complication, they would start walking or riding a bicycle to the nearest town which is 20 miles away. Most of the time, they died on the way.
One of our teams went to Nadururu to see a school that the village has built with the help of a grant. The school has since opened, and both boys and girls are attending. While there, the people told us about this terrible maternal mortality problem and asked for our help. We worked with the elders and the women of the village to develop a plan.
Thanks to many generous donations from Supporters of ETI, $10,000 was raised and the project began. The clinic is now complete and operational, and Empower Tanzania is cooperating with the Maasai village of Nadururu to take steps to reduce its maternal mortality rate.
What was $10,000 able to do in Tanzania?
- Educate six women to serve as birth attendants with a stipend of $15/month.
- Contract with the nearest health facility for a nurse or doctor to visit Nadururu monthly to perform prenatal and postnatal exams, plus well baby checks.
- Build a three-room building to serve as a birthing center for the village as well as a place for the monthly visits and future health education programming.
- Purchase a birthing bed, equipment and supplies for the clinic building.
- Pay stipends for the six trainees and a supervisor, who will be one of the female elders of the village.
The building was constructed through a joint effort between ETI (roof and joists) and the people of Nadururu (bricks and labor) The women of the village are also supporting the work of the birth attendants by assuming some of their daily responsibilities.
This model project has been EXTREMELY successful, and is now ready to be replicated in other locations. In the village of Pangaro, which has a very similar situation to Nadururu, the money has been raised, and the clinic building is almost complete. The midwives are trained, and we hope to be open for business in mid-2012!
Yes, a lot can be done in Tanzania for $10,000!!!
UPDATE from the Jan, 2012 visit: The clinic in Nadururu is running, and seeing patients once a month. It’s an exciting day for the local people, as they gather around the building early in the morning to insure their place in
line! Dr. Amini does a triage of sorts, seeing the prenatal and postnatal patients first, as well as doing the well-baby care. When that work is done, he moves on to simple primary care for the village residents, something they have never had available to them before. He typically works from dawn to dark, and it is very exciting to see this modest little building performing beautifully, doing the job for which it was built.
Now that the clinic in Pangaro is nearly done, we will begin looking for another location or possibly multiple locations. This is a model that we have developed well, and that is extremely successful at addressing needs the standard health care system cannot address. Future expansion is dependent entirely on donations!
Please help make these clinics a reality! Make a donation today