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Founded by Christy Turlington Burns, Every Mother Counts is an advocacy and mobilization campaign to increase support for maternal and child health. They have created a new blog series called Tales From the Field stories from the front line where inspiring and dedicated people can share their experiences. The first installments feature Betsy Freeman, a nurse midwife who has spent the past 10 years working with underserved women, both in New York City and throughout Africa. They are heartrending:
I am two months into my six-month mission in northern Nigeria. My world here is small: base, hospital, base. I walk the path between them several times a day. At night our beat up Land Rover shuttles me back and forth bleary eyed. We work six days a week and I’m on call for two nights as well. Most calls I’m at the hospital for most of the night.
Our two main services here are emergency obstetrics and obstetric fistula repair. I spend my days and nights supervising the local midwives and managing the emergencies that come through the door. I have to step back from the experience from time to time.
It is, in a word, mind-blowing. Here’s a snapshot….
Last night I’m on call after working my usual day shift. I get called in around 11pm because there is an eclamptic patient who has blood pressures of 220/140, already being treated with magnesium sulfate. We give her hydralazine to bring the pressure down. She is fully dilated but comatose so we do a vacuum delivery with fundal pressure to get the baby out.