Helping Mothers Survive- PCP Medical Ambassadors team member story

In 38 years of medical practice, delivering babies in the U.S., I had never seen a mother die in labor. But two weeks in Congo changed that. Summoned from hospital rounds one morning, a mother in the middle of labor died as I examined her.” writes Dr. Jim Walker of his recent experience in Congo as part of the Paul Carlson Partnership’s team of Medical Ambassadors.  Read more about getting involved at this link Paul Carlson Partnership Medical Ambassadors

woman w childDr. Walker continues, “Delivering a baby in Congo is 400 times more dangerous than in the U.S. And as Mother’s Day approaches, we are reminded that last year, Congo was reported to be the “Worst Place to Be a Mother.”

Sadly, many of these deaths are easily preventable with training and medication – exactly what we were there to give. To address the most common causes of death, our team taught the Johns Hopkins Helping Mothers Survive program. This program utilizes a mannequin, “Mama Natalie,” to simulate a pregnant abdomen and uterus, teaching techniques necessary to save lives in the three most common scenarios of bleeding after birth.

“Just like Helping Babies Breathe, [team that visited in October 2012, see Helping Babies Breathe] the course previously taught by a PCP Medical Ambassadors team, we utilized the training-of-the-trainers approach. We trained 12 excellent and very capable Congolese nurses.  After they mastered the material, we put them to the test to train the students from local nursing schools to prove their capability to train.  Now, with PCP funding, these 12 will go on to train the other 300 heath care workers on this method for how to save mothers.

“In addition, we visited two CEUM (Covenant Church in Congo) clinics on our trip and talked to nurses who had been trained on the Helping Babies Breathe technique and learned they had saved 9 babies thus far!  We have gotten off to a strong start for saving lives, and are preparing for more work to come. PCP has future plans to provide solar panels and solar refrigerators that will allow for the use of more effective and better priced medications. We are also thankful for the donation of a 3 month supply of the needed medication that we were able to provide on this trip.

woman smiling“850 women deliver a baby each month in the CEUM medical system and many do not live. When a mother survives, her baby has a better chance and all her children have a brighter future. This Mother’s Day we celebrate new hope for mothers in Congo!”

Dr. Jim Walker,  PCP OB/GYN Focus Group Chair

Thank you, thank you Dr. Walker and the Medical Ambassadors team for the key continuing education training you provided for the CEUM medical professionals.

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