Maison de Naissance (Haiti): A Beacon of Hope in Turbulent Times
Maison de Naissance (MN) is a maternal health center in rural Torbeck, Haiti, serving a population of 69,000, and funded by Global Birthing Home Foundation (GBHF), a 501(c)3 non-profit in Leawood, Kansas. Maison de Naissance provides a comprehensive suite of maternal health care services, including pre- and post-natal care, deliveries, reproductive health care, family planning, STD testing and treatment, well-baby care, and community health outreach. Since opening in October 2004, MN has performed over 6,000 healthy deliveries, 95,000 family planning consultations, and more than 220,000 cumulative maternal health consultations. https://globalbirthinghomefoundation.org.
Haiti is currently experiencing some of the worst political and civil unrest in recent memory, and the country has been at a standstill for weeks. Hospitals, schools, banks and most businesses are shuttered. There are fuel, food, water and medical supply shortages across the country, and everyone is suffering. Protests and burning roadblocks make the roads unsafe for anyone, and only desperation forces people to go out in search of food, water, and medical care.
At Maison de Naissance, it may not be business as usual, but the doors remain open. Our dedicated staff find ways to safely navigate their way to work every day, often at great risk to themselves, even with fuel costs at $10-$12 per gallon, if they can find it. On a recent Wednesday (“well baby day”), our social media reporter, who had resorted to riding a bicycle to work in spite of the dangers on the road, told me Maison de Naissance was packed, because it was the only functioning health center in a very large area that includes the city of Les Cayes. She also spent some time talking with the staff, asking them to express how the unrest was affecting them, and with the patients, asking how they felt about the services they received.
The staff mentioned fear when commuting, high fuel prices, the increase in mothers coming to deliver with an overall decrease in other services, the length of commutes to avoid trouble (up to two hours each way), and frustration with the prolonged protests and shortages. The patients expressed satisfaction with the care they received, showed appreciation for respectful treatment, and were very happy Maison de Naissance was still there to take care of them, even during these difficult and uncertain times.
Global Birthing Home Foundation is doing everything it can to support the courageous work of the 100% Haitian Maison de Naissance staff, while they battle the odds to maintain a beacon of hope for thousands of mothers and children. https://globalbirthinghomefoundation.org/donate/
Guest blogger: Jim Grant, Executive Director
From Kay: Please join us in continuing to hold the people of Haiti in your hearts during this turbulent time. All forms of support are appreciated now more than ever. Thank you; Merci!
This is the fourth in a series of blogs featuring Compassionate Birth Network Partners. This is the third and last blog post introducing our Haitian Partners. Stay tuned for future posts!