Maternal and Infant Health Award

Improving Access, Saving Lives: Expanding local networks and models of community-led perinatal care facilities to reduce maternal and infant mortality

Welcome to our team application page for the Maternal and Infant Health Award, 2022 

 

 

Welcome to Our Network
 

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Our Team

We are honored to serve as the lead organization for five partner sites representing the Compassionate Birth Network we convene. The Network, currently in 12 countries, has been creating a significant impact on the wellbeing of mothers, infants, and historically marginalized global communities since 2012 by focusing on the delivery of quality, respectful perinatal care and sexual & reproductive health services. Network partners are autonomous and led by their communities.

Together we are poised to help end preventable maternal and infant deaths by ensuring greater access to culturally respectful, affordable health care and education by dramatically expanding local networks of birth centers, maternity waiting homes, and static or mobile community clinics. All partner communities are marginalized by poverty, and women and girls remain particularly vulnerable. Our partners have taken courageous stands against racial and ethnic bias toward Indigenous groups, discrimination toward people of different abilities, religions, and all other forms of inequities, mirroring Global Force for Healing’s values. We share a common commitment to service delivery for all regardless of ability to pay. 

Note: Due to a submission error in the “Community Ownership” category of our application, we inadvertently repeated the answer for “Innovation”. Because we believe community ownership is a competitive strength of ours, we have included it here. We are also excited about our proposed strategies in the “Innovations” category, per the paragraphs below.

Community Ownership


Our proposal is rooted in community ownership.  All care sites will continue to be built/strengthened at the invitation of the local communities.  When feasible, donations of local land are encouraged, not only as a cost saving for the implementing partner, but to secure and acknowledge community buy- in.  Community Advisory Committees will be set up or strengthened, with members representing the various stakeholder groups.  Youth, women, different religious organizations, differently-abled people, and folks from different educational backgrounds must all be represented. They will assist the implementing partners in choosing vendors and other collaborators on the ground, and hold meetings regularly. Persons from the different stakeholder groups in the community will be hired whenever possible, be it for construction work, administration of the care sites, or as healthcare providers. In addition, we will hire at least one marginalized person from each community as Quality Control Officer and Patient Advocate.


Innovation


By constructing and/or reinforcing complementary perinatal care sites in vulnerable communities and using a common monitoring and evaluation framework provided by the Good Birth Network software, we will be able to create and measure the scope of services and consequent reduction in mortality rates. Our strengths are our ability to collaboratively draw inferences and conclusions from sites in five different contexts, respond to challenges, and extrapolate lessons that can be applied to other locations globally. The inclusion of the mothers’ and staffs’ lived experiences regarding care will provide us with over 200,000 data points over five years through the digital exit surveys, all of which provide invaluable feedback to be incorporated into future service delivery. No other model in existence today merges such robust community engagement in real time, delivered by local professionals in marginalized contexts and backed with over 50 collective years of global maternal and infant health experience. 

Video Presentation

We are delighted to share a 90 second video presentation narrated by team member Ibu (Mother) Robin Lim, Founder and Director of Yayasan Bumi Sehat and Bumi Wadah, with six current clinics for particularly marginalized community members in Indonesia and the Philippines.

The Role of Global Force for Healing

The role of Global Force for Healing is to support partners by capacity building (technical assistance), joint advocacy for equitable access to safe, compassionate care regardless of ability to pay, and nurturing cross-organizational collaboration at no cost to partners. This award application is emblematic of our fierce commitment to mobilizing resources and widely sharing successful models of service delivery that center the preferences of mothers and grassroots communities. By bringing perinatal and women’s health services closer to where families live and work, expanding geographical catchment areas, minimizing and when possible, eliminating major barriers to care, we are confident of making an even greater impact on achieving Sustainable Development goals # 3 and 6 in the next five years.

We’d like to introduce you to the five Network partners on our application team:

Bumi Sehat

Executive Advisor: Robin Lim iburobin@bumisehat.org
Executive Director #1: Eka Yuliani
Website: https://bumisehat.org

 

For over seventeen years Bumi Sehat has been providing community-led mother-baby health services in four locations in Indonesia and two locations in the Philippine Islands. At Bumi Sehat we help pregnant, birthing, and postpartum women and their families access skilled, compassionate care during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Most of our patients are economically challenged, many from marginalized indigenous groups, and/or migrant families, or who are displaced by poverty, conflicts or natural disasters. We reach out to far-flung villages where there is no access to healthcare due to distance, lack of transportation, and poverty.
 
Priority populations include:

  • Pregnant and birthing women, especially mothers dealing with poverty, homelessness, forced migration, natural disasters, and members of marginalized Indigenous groups.

  • Other women who face disparities in access to perinatal care due to domestic and work-related abuse (including prostitution) or who are stigmatized due to skin color, ethnicity and HIV/AIDS; women with special physical challenges (“body radical”).

  • Women suffering from malnutrition and at risk for postpartum hemorrhage.

  • Teenage girls at risk for sexually transmitted infections or dropping out of school.

 
Because Bumi Sehat is village-based, staffed by medical professionals educated and working in their countries of origin, our model of care is culturally appropriate and sustainable.

At Bumi Sehat, our midwives, doctors, nurses, and support staff emphasize respectful care. Our skilled Midwife-to-Mother care model is delivered with respect for women’s cultures and need for safety, confidentiality, and privacy. Mobile health clinics bring prenatal risk reduction to pregnant women in far-flung villages without access to care or education. We also have comprehensive onsite lab services to analyze and minimize pregnancy-related risk factors.
 
Midwifery services by the numbers:

  • In 2021, 6,077 prenatal checkups 728 babies born in 2021; and

  • 10,000 babies received into the world since 2008.

 

Our record of success, documented by data, demonstrates how feasible and durable our model of care is. 
 
Our goals for improving and expanding services in 2023 include the building of simple maternity homes where expectant women and families will be welcomed to wait to deliver at our birth centers staffed 24/7 by skilled, compassionate midwives.  Our desire is to broaden and scale our ability to serve pregnant people who are considered the “lost, the least and the last of society”; for us they are instead, “very important persons”!

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Photo Slideshow for Bumi Sehat

Cameroon Agenda for Sustainable Development

Executive Director: Numfor Alenwi

Program Manager: Eleanor Fon

Email: nalenwi@yahoo.com
Website: https://casdimpact.org

Cameroon Agenda for Sustainable Development (CASD) is a civil society organization that works with policymakers and grassroots communities to address the health and socio-economic issues affecting the lives of adolescent girls, vulnerable women, and children using strategies that are inclusive, sustainable, and accountable. Since 2011, CASD has largely focused its activities on maternal health and adolescent sexual and reproductive health. 

 

Mindful of the high risk of mortality and morbidity among these populations, CASD currently implements three grassroots projects: the Expanded Access to Ultrasound during Pregnancy Project (improving access to Antenatal ultrasonography in rural communities), the Paternity Clinic (engaging expectant fathers in the continuum of care for healthy birthing), and the Girls’ Choice Ice-cream Project (enhancing universal access to sexual and reproductive health for adolescent girls). These projects have granted access to quality health services and respectful care to over 70,000 women and girls in Cameroon.

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Photo Slideshow for Cameroon Agenda for Sustainable Development

Global Birthing Home Foundation/Maison de Naissance

Executive Director, Global Birthing Home Foundation: Jim Grant

Email: jim@globalbirthinghomefoundation.org
Haiti Director, Maison de Naissance: Fr. Dr. Kesner Ajax
Website: www.globalbirthinghomefoundation.org

 

Global Birthing Home Foundation (GBHF), located in Leawood, Kansas, provides funding and operational oversight of Maison de Naissance (MN, “Home of Birth”), a maternal and infant health center located in the plains of Torbeck (pop. 76,000) in southwest Haiti.  MN provides pre and postnatal care, deliveries, family planning, STD (including HIV) testing and treatment, well baby care (vaccinations and nutritional screening), reproductive health care, community health outreach, and free purified water to the surrounding communities.

 

Maison de Naissance (MN) has been providing professional, comprehensive and community led, respectful maternal and infant health care services for over 17 years.  In that time, MN has performed over 7,600 healthy deliveries and served over 350,000 patients, and it provides much needed, life-saving care to those who need it most, without any exclusions or barriers.  It is a community based, durable resource, providing opportunities for families to thrive which they would not otherwise have.

 

One of GBHF’s founding principles is to overcome the three primary barriers to healthcare access in underdeveloped, rural communities:

  • Financial: Maison de Naissance does not require payment for services.  Fees are determined by community health councils, and are “free will” on a sliding scale starting at zero.  Fees were implemented following a community request to accept payment from those who can afford it, as a matter of dignity.

  • Transportation: Maison de Naissance is located in the heart of one of the poorest regions in Haiti, establishing access to care as a local resource.  Transportation by ambulance is provided as needed for emergencies.

  • Lack of professional care centers in rural communities: Comprehensive, professional maternal and infant care services are not otherwise available in the region served by Maison de Naissance.  MN brings the services to the region, instead of expecting patients to travel long distances at great expense to facilities where they must pay medical fees in advance of services, and where they are not treated with respect or courtesy.

 

We believe every mother and every infant, regardless of skin color, country of origin, religion, economic or social status, deserves the opportunity for a healthy pregnancy and a safe birth.

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Photo Slideshow for Global Birthing Home Foundation/Maison de Naissance
 

Maya Midwifery International
Executive Director: Asia Fresse Blackwell

Email: asia@mayamidwifery.org

Website: http://www.mayamidwifery.org/

ACAM Council of Directors: María Azucena Fuentes Díaz (President,) Emelda López Sánchez (Treasurer), Magdalena Cabrera Garcia (Assistant Treasurer), Lucia Tomasa Lopez (Secretary), Guadalupe Aguilar Perez (Vocal), Gloria Cabrera Lorenzo (Vocal), María Antonina Sánchez Mendez (Member at Large)

 

Since 1999, Maya Midwifery International (MMI) has served as the U.S. based 501(c)3 advisory and fundraising partner for the Association of Midwives of the Mam Speaking Area (ACAM), based in Concepción Chiquirichapa, Guatemala. ACAM is a community-led cooperative of 40+ Maya Mam midwives that organized after the Guatemalan Civil War to devise solutions to the many health issues facing their indigenous communities. 

 

MMI’s mission is to improve reproductive, maternal and newborn health (RMNH) by preparing and sustaining ACAM’s indigenous midwives, helping them to have a voice in local and national policies which affect them. Our objectives include service delivery, training and mentoring, community development and partnerships, strengthening midwifery at the departmental and national level, and increasing sustainability.

The ACAM midwives provide much of the client care in their birth center, the only medical facility owned and operated by indigenous midwives in all of Guatemala, and through four regular mobile clinics in rural communities. Core services include prenatal and postpartum care, attending normal births, provision of family planning services, cervical cancer screening and treatment, basic obstetrical ultrasound, and well-woman care. Additionally, they provide culturally-competent RMNH and midwifery training to community midwives and host a monthly radio program in their local language of Maya Mam to discuss RMNH related themes with the community at large. 

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Photo Slideshow for Maya Midwifery International

Midwives for Haiti
Executive Director:  Jane Drichta

Country Director: Emmanuel Sannoh

Email: executive@midwivesforhaiti.org

Website: www.midwivesforhaiti.org

 

Midwives for Haiti has been working in the Central Plateau of Haiti since 2006.  With humble beginnings under a mango tree, our Nadene Brunk Eads School has now graduated 204 trained birth attendants, which represent 33% of the midwives working in Haiti today.  Our work includes supporting the maternity wards at Ste Therese Hospital in Hinche, and training matwón (traditional birth attendants) using our five month curriculum in normal birth, as well as conducting 10 weekly community clinics in partnership with the Ministry of Public Health and Population. We are currently constructing a rural birth center, scheduled to open in September of 2022.  Oor organization is deeply committed to community led initiatives, and employs 68 Haitian employees, making us the second largest employer in our town. 

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Photo Slideshow for Midwives for Haiti

Key Staff Members

Jim Grant

AFFILIATION: Global Birthing Home Foundation dba Maison de Naissance

Executive Director of Global Birthing Home Foundation (GBHF), Jim is a graduate of the University of Nebraska in Omaha with a BS in Economics, a minor in Decision Sciences, a business certificate in Systems Networking from MIT, a PMI certificate in project management, and twenty years of professional IT experience, including international consulting (two years with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority) and US regional office management. He has been working for GBHF since 2008, and Executive Director since April 2011.

 

Numfor Munteh

AFFILIATION: Cameroon Agenda for Sustainable Development CBO (CASD)

 

Founder and Executive Director, Numfor holds an MA in Monitoring and Evaluation and a Bachelor’s in Project Management. He has held consultancy positions with Population Services International – Cameroon and United Nations Children Fund – Cameroon. His award-winning initiatives include Family Planning Quality Challenge 2014 awarded by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Beyond Cameroon, Numfor played a key consulting role on international development drivers including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), Every Woman Every Child, and the Adolescents and Youth Constituency at the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH). He is a board member of Global Force for Healing.

 

Kay Sandberg

AFFILIATION: Global Force for Healing (GFH); Compassionate Birth Network

 

Founder and Executive Director of Global Force for Healing, Kay holds a Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from Stanford University. She has extensive training and experience in DEI, fundraising, team performance, and leadership and organizational development. Kay convenes the Compassionate Birth Network and serves on the Advocacy Subcommittee of the Global Respectful Maternity Care Council.

 

She was founding CEO of a holistic health center leading 14 practitioners and 10 staff, and a corporate cultural diversity and executive leadership consultant. Kay helped found Network partner Ikiama Nukuri and led co-creation of publications highlighting birth equity/human rights, and global birth models. https:///globalforceforhealing.org/publications/

To Learn More

We deeply appreciate your interest in our application! Feel free to reach out directly to team members or to Kay Sandberg, lead organizer:
Email: kay@globalforceforhealing.org; Phone or Whatsapp: +1.650.380.2498

Land Acknowledgment

Global Force for Healing is grateful to be on the land of the Shasta, Takelma, Latgawa, and many other recognized and unrecognized tribes who have living relationships with the Southern Oregon region from 'time out of mind' to now. These Tribes remain displaced since their forceful removal by Euro-American colonizers beginning in the 19th century. Today, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians are living descendants of the Takelma, Shasta, and Latgawa peoples of this area.

 

Let us do our part to continue dismantling the systems of oppression that have dispossessed Indigenous people of their lands and denied their rights to self-determination, and encourage the return of all that was taken from them.