“If we don’t do this, who will?” -Nadene Brunk, Founder
Midwives for Haiti was founded by Nadene Brunk, an American midwife. After a trip to Haiti, she was shocked by the lack of prenatal care in the country and felt the call to do something. “In rural Haiti, only 25% of mothers have access to a skilled birth attendant during childbirth. For the poorest women, this number falls to 9.6. (UNICEF 2013).” While most women can’t afford health care, even those who can are often turned away due to the severe understaffing of Haitian hospitals.
While speaking with Nadene, she explained their “multi-faceted approach to trying to get women, in rural Haiti especially, to be able to get prenatal care and have a safe delivery.” Midwives for Haiti are currently seeing 22 rural villages per month and serve about 700 women per month. They currently have 5 programs.
- Skilled Birth Attendant Training Program-Midwives for Haiti provides a one year training program that trains nurses from government approved nursing schools to become skilled birth attendants. They have trained 124 birth attendants since 2006.
- Mobile Prenatal Clinic– Midwives for Haiti has a prenatal clinic that travels around the country providing prenatal and postpartum care as well as diagnosing and treating various diseases that puts the lives of mothers and babies at risk.
- Matwòn Outreach Program– Traditional birth attendants currently deliver 75% of the children in the country. “Our programs educate and empower Haitian women and men to improve the health of their communities, creating lasting change in their lives and the lives of the mothers and children they care for.”
- Carrie Worthom Birth Center – Located in rural Haiti, an hour from the closest hospital, the mortality rate is roughly three times the average in the country. This birth center provides 24/7 access to care they would otherwise not be able to access.
- Maternity & Hospital Support – Support the salaries of midwives at a local hospital that is government owned and doesn’t have enough staff or supplies.
The most incredible part of this interview was to hear that they employ 52 native Haitans who are helping to aid in bringing down the mortality rate in their own country and who are now able to have a salary to feed their families and give their children an education. This is an remarkable company who are truly making a difference in the lives of hundreds of families every month in Haiti.
Click here to read some of their stories from Haiti. If you would like to help, you can start by creating a kit with a few basic items. You may do this with a group of friends or neighbors and send them in. They also take donations and are always looking for volunteers to help support their amazing ministry. Click here for more information.