First Triplets Born Into Grace Center Midwives' Capable Hands!
Nakagola Brenda, Hassan Kizito and their 3 year old daughter proudly hold newborn triplets born last month at Grace Family Clinic in central Uganda. Laura Bint Hassan (girl), Sad Ben Hassan (boy), and Saur Ben Hassan (boy) have returned to the clinic with their parents for postnatal checkups and when medical attention was needed. This is the first set of triplets born at our Partner's midwifery center and the first ones to survive birth in their entire sub-county (region). According to the birth center staff, survival rate of triplets is very low in Uganda. Since the incubator made possible by our emergency grant had not yet arrived, Midwives Harriet and Annette kept the newborns warm with charcoal burners. Such dedication!
Hassan Kizito broke cultural traditions by being at the birth and having an active presence.
He is part of the Village Fathers Program that began after dads in surrounding communities wanted in on the fun and education their wives in the Village Mothers Program were enjoying. Global Force for Healing provided initial support for the program at the request of the communities. Support included small financial incentives for Village Moms to encourage neighbors to come for compassionate prenatal care and safe childbirth, and to continue learning about childbirth.
Grace staff and village leaders wanted to implement the "Paternity Project" curriculum developed and shared by another Network Partner, Cameroon Agenda for Sustainable Development through a mini-grant from Global Force. The counseling sessions and educational materials encourage active engagement by men in their partners' pregnancies and afterward. A volunteer group we co-hosted two years ago included two US dads who met with Village Fathers to talk about being at their children's births. Some local dads like Hassan have since decided to have a more active presence during birth and afterward.
Mama Brenda has found she doesn't have enough breastmilk to keep three babies satisfied, so the family began supplementing with formula (very expensive in Uganda) and milk from their cow. Now that the cow is weaning her calf and running out of milk, the Grace Uganda team found a donor to help pay for formula while they work with the extended family to provide ongoing support. It truly takes a village, and the 10 communities served by the midwifery center are in very capable hands, even in the midst of a global pandemic!