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Midwives improve chances for healthy births in Haiti

FERRISBURGH — A successful fund-raising event hosted by Ferrisburgh residents Gary Lange and Martha Redpath benefited Midwives for Haiti, a nonprofit group working with Haitian authorities and other nonprofits to improve the chances of that nation’s mothers to have healthy childbirths.
Midwives for Haiti is the “featured cause of the month” at midwifesupplies.com for February, and has ramped up its efforts in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck the Caribbean nation, the poorest in the Western hemisphere.
More information about the group is available at www.midwivesforhaiti.org. On that Web site, the group explains, “Who We Are:
“In Haiti, 76 percent of all deliveries are done by non-qualified persons, contributing to the highest infant and maternal mortality in the western hemisphere. 15 percent of newborns have low birth weight and 25 percent of the children suffer from chronic malnutrition. The World Health Organization has estimated that the things professional midwives know how to do — preventative prenatal care, handling complications of pregnancy and birth, and teaching nutrition — could totally change these statistics.
“Midwives for Haiti was started by certified nurse-midwives who believe every woman in this world deserves the knowledge and care to have a safe pregnancy and birth. We also believe that even women who cannot read or write are teachable. With the right knowledge and tools, community women can make birth safer and keep babies and mothers from dying. We want to bridge the gap between the traditional birth attendants and the nurse-midwives trained in the medical model so that more women in Haiti have access to skilled care.”
Reporter Andy Kirkaldy is at [email protected]

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