We have tickets!
We’re going back to Sierra Leone on June 30 for about seven weeks!
The team includes Chris McManus, Trish Ross, Carol Nelson, and Gretchen Peck.
Our schedule is full:
- Visiting the women we trained in the Kailahun District to grieve the deaths of our friends, listen to their stories, and plan next steps.
- Visiting the Kailahun District Health Care Leadership Team to assess needs.
- Teaching 30 women in the village of Tikonko in the Bo Chiefdom.
- Piloting our train-the-trainer process with staff from the Rural Healthcare Initiative (RHCI).
- Training a translator for the Temne language.
- Visiting our friend, Dr Bome, who is now the District Medical Officer in the Pujehun District. He really wants us to begin working there.
- Visiting some friends between Port Loko and Makeni, who also want us to work there.
We are so torn. The opportunities to work are wonderful. And the need is heartbreaking. Training trainers will increase our reach, but especially after Ebola, the needs are increasing as well.
If you want to help teach, see Volunteer! on this website. We also need help with social media, fundraising, grant-writing, secretarial work, etc.
To help financially, click one of the following links:
Improving our own skills and knowledge is important
Helping Mothers Survive and Helping Babies Survive Threatened Pre-term Birth are two more programs to ensure practitioners provide evidence-based care to mothers and babies. MOMS’ Education Director, Trish Ross, will get certified as a Master Trainer in both of these programs. Trish is already certified in Helping Babies Breathe and Essential Care for Every Baby.
The Uganda trip
We did a needs assessment in September, and found a solid partner in the Kitojo Integrated Development Association. KIDA has a hospital, vocational training program, and a bank. They support rural villages scattered over the Uganda side of the Rwenzori Mountains.
We will return to Sierra Leone
A MOMS team is planning to go back to Sierra Leone this summer.
We are not entirely sure if we will be permitted to gather people for a class. Currently, no such meetings are permitted, but by then they may be allowed. If we can teach, we will return to Tikonko and train trainers for the Rural Healthcare Initiative,
If we cannot teach a new group, we will go to the villages where we have been working and check in with the women.
We also aim to do another needs assessment. Many of the new needs are clear: hundreds of teen girls have become pregnant through violence and perhaps some boredom while the schools have been closed for Ebola. We also know that many women are afraid of going to the clinics to give birth, and some clinic staff are afraid to help women give birth because of the body fluids present.
We will confirm these needs and learn about more. We’ll listen to stories of this most difficult year. We will then review our capabilities and set priorities for action.
The Traditional Birth Attendants in Tikonko sing and dance to welcome the MOMS team.
MOMS is a humanitarian, non-profit agency whose mission is to improve maternal and infant health in the poorest areas of the world.
MOMS' teams build capacity among the women in the rural areas. We teach the traditional birth attendants four things:
- To be the bridge between the community and the clinic system
- To make changes to solve women's health problems
- To provide evidence-based maternity care
- To teach their neighbors about women's health needs, sanitation, and nutrition
Our Accomplishments - with your help!
Since 2006, MOMS' teams have made 13 trips to Sierra Leone, for a total of about 15 months in-country.
- Initial Training: 198 women in five cohorts
- Continuing Education: 165 women in four cohorts
- Helping Babies Breathe: 20 people; seven clinics supplied
- Gardening businesses established: three cohorts
- Palm oil business established: two cohorts
- Clinic built, supplied, and staffed
- Advisory Committee established
- MOMS TBA included in the District Medical Health Team
- Maternal or fetal mortality related to TBA errors: 0
We have made one trip to Uganda to conduct a needs assessment.