Community Health Education
Working with healthcare professionals and organizations on the ground in Haiti, we have developed community based health education initiatives and hold weekly classes at our community center on critical topics such as Nutrition/Malnutrition, Breastfeeding, Childbirth Safety, Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and Basic First Aid for the surrounding community. These classes are taught by our own nurses, Bettyna and Mirlande, who have a passion to reach their communities with sorely needed health education. Together they are a powerhouse teaching team!
Matwòn Training Project of 2018
Laman Outreach partnered with Midwives for Haiti in 2018 to bring critically needed training to the traditional birth attendants, or matwòn, currently delivering babies in the Merger de Sibert area. It is estimated that 75% of deliveries in Haiti are attended by traditional birth attendants. “Although these men and women learn valuable skills from family members and friends, many have not been formally trained to recognize danger signs during pregnancy or to utilize life-saving maneuvers for labor and delivery.”*
We hired a nurse, Ghana, who has completed Midwives for Haiti’s rigorous 1 year skilled birth attendant program. She conducted 3 hours of training for our matwòn every week for 22 weeks. During this training, matwòn learned to achieve “clean, safe deliveries by utilizing strategies that have been statistically proven to reduce rates of maternal and neonatal death.”*
In May of 2019 we had the joy of holding a graduation ceremony for the 9 individuals who completed the entire program. You haven’t been to a graduation until you’ve been to a Haitian graduation ceremony! The joy and dignity afforded these individuals as we applauded their success was palpable.
Matwòn who completed the program are given clean birth kits to use and were given the opportunity to attend continuing education programs for 5 months following graduation in 2019.
We are excited about the difference this project will make for years to come in this medically underserved area of Haiti.
Laman Community Outreach Center
In December 2017 Laman Outreach held its first major fundraising event, Transfòme, in order to raise funds to build a multi-purpose building in Haiti. Transfòme was a huge success and as a result, Maxima SA began construction on the Laman Community Outreach Center in April 2018. This facility is situated behind Merger de Sibert and is easily accessible by the greater Sibert area.
The Laman Community Outreach Center is the perfect place for our nurses, Bettyna and Mirlande, to carry out basic medical education classes and workshops for the community on topics like hypertension and diabetes prevention, nutrition, and first aid instruction. The elderly in our Elderly Project meet and socialize here, and our nurses use this space to monitor their health.