Welcome to or next newsletter
Wonderful to connect again, and welcome all of our supporters and donators. It’s been really exciting to see some of the Grants coming through and I’m going to take you through some of the grants that we’ve been awarded.
A big shout out though, to Ellena. We couldn’t get these grants written if it wasn’t for her expert wordsmithing, and putting all of our thoughts and feelings, plans and strategy down on paper so that it’s in a concise format. So when the grants people get together and, let’s face it, they’re all human, they sit around and decide where they’re going to spend the money.
So we’re really excited to let you all know that we got a grant from June Carnarvon Grants. And with that, we have training equipment that we’ve now been able to purchase through Laerdal. And the training equipment is things like, it’s called a Mama Birthie and a MamaNatalie.
We can now set up training stations, that can simulate emergencies of bleeding after childbirth, which we call postpartum haemorrhage, and you can simulate how to manage that.
And it teaches the midwives better skills, better teamwork, better mentoring as well. And you can make this MamaNatalie bleed a lot or bleed a little. Also, it has a special baby that you can put inside, where we can simulate a baby coming out bottom first, which is what we call breech, which technically can be quite a difficult delivery. And so, it’s so thrilling to see this equipment has finally have arrived in Tanzania. We’ve had a lot of delays because of the worldwide events, with getting things shipped.
The other training equipment we got with the June Carnarvon Grant was a model for perineal repair training. Some women that have a baby, they tear, and suturing that area is a skill that all midwives need to know, certainly in Sub-Saharan Africa, and certainly Tanzania at the clinic where we all work. So we’ve got some training models. One of them is being made in England, and then we couldn’t ship it from England to Tanzania direct, so we sent it to some friends, and then I just got a text today from DHL to say that the perineal repair model has now arrived in Dar es Salaam. And we’re waiting to get that cleared through customs, where we fill out a bunch of paperwork, pay some extra tax, and then it will be able to be in the clinic as another training station.
The other part of that training kit is the Mayo suture holder, scissors and the suture material, because obviously you’ve got to practice with real equipment.
The other grant that we got was for DFAT, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. And again, we put some more training equipment in and we are just about to adjust. We had put in for one patient monitor that was worth 5,500 U.S. dollars. And we’ve been able to now source smaller monitors that do the same thing for $1,250. We’re hoping to order four or five of those. And that means that we get better patient care as the vital signs are better monitored due to a larger coverage of patients. When a mother comes in and you take a blood pressure, and you see it on a screen, the care is much faster. If she has high blood pressure, she can be given the medication. There’s a lot more vigilance, whereas if you don’t have a blood pressure machine or machine to take a temperature, it’s very hard to make clinical decisions based on the true picture that you’re looking at.
The other thing is because of the pandemic two of the oxygen concentrators that were in labour ward were seconded to another area. So we’re purchasing one more oxygen concentrator machine for the labour ward, for those babies that are born and they’re very unwell, we can start oxygen in labour ward, and then transfer them up to the neonatal ward.
The other thing that we were able to purchase, we had a donation from Dr. Florin, and we bought a HemoCue machine. And what that is you machine allows us to do is check the haemoglobin of the mother. Haemoglobin caries oxygen and when it is low it can be life threatening. Midwifes can check it just with a little drop of blood, either from the mother’s ear lobe or from her finger. And that lets us know whether we can take her for caesarean section, if the level of haemoglobin in her blood is high enough to allow us to safely operate and get the baby out through a caesarean section.
The Oprescu family have donated so much money to us this year, it’s just fantastic. And I just wanted to put a big shout out that their money went into the delivery beds getting all recovered, plus additional delivery kits and medications for high blood pressure and fitting in pregnancy – called magnesium sulphate. So all the vinyl and all of the sponge was replaced, and then all of the metal was sanded back and repainted.