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 can meet and socialize here, and our nurses can use this space to monitor their health.
And this summer and fall, the Laman Community Outreach Center will be the location where traditional birth attendants receive training in the Matwòn Training Project.
Matwòn Training Project
Laman Outreach has partnered with Midwives for Haiti to bring critically needed training to the traditional birth attendants, or matwòns, 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 have hired a nurse who has completed Midwives for Haiti’s rigorous 1 year skilled birth attendant program. She will conduct 3 hours of training for our matwòns every week for 22 weeks. During this training, matwòns will learn to achieve “clean, safe deliveries by utilizing strategies that have been statistically proven to reduce rates of maternal and neonatal death.”*
Matwòns who complete the program will be given clean birth kits to use and will be given the opportunity to attend continuing education programs. And they will be encouraged to better integrate into the medical system by becoming comfortable with local doctors who want to extend hope and help into surrounding communities.
We are excited about the difference this project will make in this medically underserved area of Haiti.
Projects in Development
Working with healthcare professionals and organizations on the ground in Haiti, our nurses are developing community based health education initiatives on critical topics such as hypertension and diabetes prevention, nutrition, and basic first aid. Our health coordinator is currently preparing classes and workshops to present on a regular basis to the communities surrounding the Laman Community Outreach Center.
It is our hope that the program we have started within our Elderly Project to address their hypertension will be expanded to serve the wider public. The first step to addressing hypertension is to educate the public on how to prevent it through proper diet and exercise. As good nutrition and proper diet are learned and embraced, our plan is for screening and treating hypertension to follow.