Childbirth should be a joyous occasion, but unfortunately for many women around the world it is an extremely risky and scary undertaking. More than 343,000 women in developing nations die during childbirth each year – a number Saving Mothers strives to reduce. In Kenya alone, the maternal mortality rate is 488 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births; a rate that is exacerbated in the region of West Pokot.
In West Pokot, there is only one hospital, the Kapenguria District Hospital, which serves a population of 500,000 people. At Kapenguria, Saving Mothers has been conducting a prenatal continuum of care program since 2015 to reduce maternal mortalities and birth related complications. We provide prenatal care to the 3,500 women that deliver annually at this location (of whom 40% are between the ages of 12-18). The Saving Mothers team provides women with ultrasounds, educates local providers, offers free IUD insertions and prenatal vitamins, and performs lifesaving pro-bono surgeries.
Presently, the hospital staff collects data on paper, which is inefficient, time-consuming, and environmentally unfriendly. This, in addition to various other reasons, is why Saving Mothers needs your help in raising money for Wi-Fi. With Wi-Fi we will be able to:
1) Hold virtual conferences for the community at large. These conferences would include educational sessions for the staff, patients, and citizens on prevalent diseases, treatments, and new technologies relating to women’s health. This will not only reduce the travel time and expenses for Saving Mothers staff, but will enable ongoing, up-to-date education.
2) Provide emergency assistance. 83% of women in West Pokot, Kenya deliver at home without a skilled healthcare provider. This often leads to preventable maternal deaths and birth related complications. With Wi-Fi capabilities, local healthcare providers can connect with the mothers via telephone to provide emergency assistance when needed.
3) Engage in telemedicine. Saving Mothers has the software to remotely read ultrasounds that are provided to the mothers by our Kenyan staff. With Wi-Fi, Saving Mothers would finally be able to use this software to help Kenyan providers at Kapenguria make diagnoses and provide treatment options for the mothers.
4) Purchase tablets in order to collect data and educate patients using Microsoft pictorial guides, videos, and interactive resources. Currently, the hospital staff at Kapenguria uses paper made pamphlets, but with Wi-Fi we will be able to give them unlimited information. For instance, we could demonstrate how to put in an IUD and demonstrate what a breech baby looks like.
Ultimately, these changes will help strengthen the ability to empower women to make their own decisions pertaining to their sexual and reproductive health. Through these advancements in our programing, we will be able to increase access even further to basic reproductive care. At Saving Mothers, we believe no mother should die giving life, and we need your help to make this happen.