Stories from the field
Aramata is a Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA) in Pirang village in The Gambia.
The village has a population of 3-4,000. Aramata has been a TBA for 25 years. She has around 11 deliveries a month. The community calls her at any time during the day.
She said: “the training I received has been very helpful and successful. It has helped me to deliver babies safely and save their lives”.
The village has 5 TBAs. If Aramata recognises a complication in pregnancy, for example, Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH) or retained placenta, she will refer the mother to Brikama Health Centre.
“The training, and also my experience, has helped me to recognise complications or problems and so I can act quickly”.
Sira and baby Modou: care in the village
In this photo, Sira's baby, Modou, is 4 weeks old and her first child. They live in The Gambia in Pirang village.
The Community Health Nurse, Malta, called the Flying Squad (emergency ambulance set up by MCAI/ALSG) out to Sira. Jaka, the midwife, and Jude Holden, the MCAI midwife working at Brikama Major Health Centre, went to Pirang village, which is 15 km away. Sira was 35 weeks pregnant and she'd had an eclamptic fit at home, which life is threatening. The raised blood pressure can lead to a stroke or death.
Her home is in an isolated village and there was no electricity that night and the team had to reach it by torch light. Sira was conscious, and the team stabilised her, putting in a drip to insert dextrose, and she was transported to Brikama Health Centre. On arrival, Sira was stabilised with drugs to stop her fitting and to bring her blood pressure down. She said “I felt very upset when I was at the health centre and heard I had kidney problems. The team was very good to me and helped me a lot. It is because of them that I am now getting better. Thank you for helping me". Sira is studying hard as she wants to be a journalist.
Meet Faith & Baby Joy
Joining our PMTCT project has meant that Faith, a 21 year HIV positive mother from Cameroon, has been able to prevent the transmission of HIV to her baby daughter, Joy.
"The nurses advised me not to breastfeed and said if I wanted my baby girl to be safe I could use artificial milk and take pride in my washing to save from infection"
Due to Faith's care and attention, at baby Joy's 6 week HIV test, the results were negative. Faith attributes this to the things she learnt on the PMTCT project and is confident that at her 15 month test, baby Joy will remain HIV free!
Carlos and mum: treatment for Burkitt's lymphoma
Carlos is three. He came to Bamenda Regional Hospital with a lump on his forehead. He had ultrasound scans and chemotherapy. Thankfully the lump is receding.
In this photo Carlos is receiving his last dose of chemotherapy.
Carlos’ mother was very pleased that MCAI had paid for his treatment. Without our project it is doubtfull that she would have been able to afford the medication needed.