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While it’s not true in America today, the majority of the world’s births occur in non-hospital settings. Self-taught midwives do most of the deliveries in poverty-stricken Haiti. With below par health conditions, one in five children will die before the age of five. But, as Reed Galin reports, there’s a program underway to better equip midwives with the knowledge and skill they need to help more children survive.

 
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SCRIPT:

(Locator: Port au Prince, Haiti)

Like most women in Haiti, Marie Nica (KNEE-KAA) delivered her third child right here, in the family home.

Jacquelyn Clay/Midwife: “The baby is very well.”

Jacquelyn Clay says the baby is doing well. She should know. She’s delivered ten of her own, and over 200 babies as a midwife. Jacquelyn has been delivering babies in this Port au Prince slum for more than 30 years. In a country that has the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the Western Hemisphere, having someone like her can make all the difference.

Not long ago, Jacquelyn was practicing using antiquated techniques passed on from her mother and grandmother. Without any formal training and limited understanding of modern medical procedures, many babies and mothers were lost. But that changed when she attended a three-month program for midwives, partially funded through the United Methodist Church.

Keren Bijou/International Child Care: “Since they receive this training, they feel more secure, more safe, they feel well when they are doing their job. And the people in the community, too, benefit from this special program.”

Bringing new life into the world is what Jacqueline says she was born to do, and proudly says she has never done better.

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The program is free to all participants. Most are recruited from the local community. Once identified, they attend bi-weekly classes for three months. Upon successful graduation, the midwives receive a diploma, along with a kit used to assist in future deliveries.

For more information, contact The Board of Global Ministries at 1-800-862-4246, or on-line on: http://gbgm-umc.org/home_page/.