Safer Births for Moms in Rural Haiti
On April 16, Project Medishare opened the doors to its new maternity center in Lahoye, a rural village near the border with the Dominican Republic, where many women still give birth at home. The opening of the maternity center — our second in the Central Plateau — is part of Project Medishare’s ongoing efforts to help reduce Haiti’s high maternal and infant mortality rates by ensuring women in rural communities have access to quality maternal health services.
One of those women is 23 year-old Tagella. In the early morning hours of Saturday, April 21, Tagella gave birth to her third child, a healthy baby girl. Mylanda was the first baby born at the Lahoye maternity center.
“I was proud and happy to know that my baby was the first one born here,” the stay-at-home mom said. “Everyone took really good care of me.”
For Tagella, this was the first time she delivered in a clinic. With her other two children, girls ages nine and three, she went into labor at night. At that time, the nearest hospital was more than 45 minutes away. Rather than risk traveling on an unpaved road at night and not making it to the hospital in time, like many women in the area, Tagella decided to deliver at home under the care of a traditional birth attendant. Now that there’s a maternity center with skilled midwives closer to her home, this time, she was able to make a different choice.
“I felt more comfortable and safer during this delivery,” she said.
Since giving birth three months ago, Tagella has been back to the Lahoye maternity center and clinic several times for postnatal check-ups and vaccinations for her baby girl. She also plans to start a family planning method soon.
With the opening of the Lahoye maternity center, more moms like Tagella will be able to deliver their babies in a safe, clean and caring environment.