First meeting with Ministry of Health

Partnership and Growth

Many things transpired during our January time in Uganda. We want to share a few of the things that were accomplished and that we find significant for our work there. We honestly feel a bit overwhelmed with all that is ahead of us, all the possibilities, but as always, will trust that God is leading and will provide as He has in the past.

We are continuing work with the Uganda Ministry of Health in a number of ways. We met with them twice, and the following are the items discussed, amongst others:

  • We have given them data on the results of a competency that we gave during the bereavement trainings.
  • They asked us for feedback on a training manual that they have created, and we will continue to work on this.
  • We have shared our PowerPoint training slides and protocols. We have given them the things that they asked for, and we hope that they will deliver on our requests too!

One of the most important pieces for our continued work is the implementation of our high-risk perinatal trainings in the Uganda midwifery curriculum. We very much want this to happen.

The second, very significant piece of our January time, was the planting of three new Birth with Dignity programs. We planted programs at Lira Hospital in the north, Kumi and Budaka districts in the east. We were very well received but have never planted programs in districts before (as opposed to large regional hospitals), so we will learn what works and what does not work. We just had our first follow-up meeting with the leaders and were blown away by what they are doing thus far. They have determined that maternal deaths have decreased already as they are screening pregnant mothers for risk factors and getting them to high-risk health centers for care, instead of just reacting when they come into labor with issues like preeclampsia. They are also giving excellent bereavement care. A couple of the midwives even joined our call to tell us of the appreciation by the families for the care they received after their stillborn babies were delivered. In Lira, our two leaders, both named Judith, even went into the city health center and did a 5-hour conference for approximately 25 health care workers with Birth with Dignity training materials. We cannot believe the speed at which these programs have taken off. One has even developed an entire database to track postpartum hemorrhage, preeclampsia, and bereavement care. We are so thrilled.

We are continually impressed with our original Birth with Dignity team in Mbale. The hospital has embraced this work, even anesthesiologists and obstetricians. The compassion shown to these mothers is uncommon in most of Uganda, and we are encouraged that the entire hospital has incorporated this care into their practice! Sometimes we get goosebumps when we look at what has transpired over these past 6 years, and we are so excited with the changes and progress.

Thank you again for your kindness and generosity in support of our work. As we have said before, we take you along as partners with us on this journey! May God bless all of you for your help.

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