The other things that are happening in Tanzania is, we wish well to Michael, as he moves on to other projects. He’s been our operations manager since we started there, and due to the pandemic, we’ve had to change how we do things. And so we really wish Michael well, we thank him for his service and no doubt we will see him when we return. And there will be projects from time to time I’m sure he’ll be involved in.
Sister Chacky is on the cusp of completing her training. She’s a senior midwife that returned to school to do some additional training, because there’s some regulatory changes in Tanzania. There were changes in the way that you had your qualifications. Sister Chacky left school at 15 and went on to be a registered nurse and had worked at this hospital for 15 years, however had to return to school to complete her school leaving certificate. All the while she’s been doing other study through a co-scholarship with Uncle Gilberts family generously giving funds for Uncle Gilbert Scholarship. And Sister Chacky will be the head midwife for Midwife Vision, the clinical midwife. And she will develop and grow mentors within the ward. And then she will go out to the other clinics and then out to the other hospitals.
And we hope to put the SHINE program in place in all of the clinics and hospitals in Dar es Salaam. And then from there we hope to go to the other regional areas. The SHINE program stands for S for survival, H for happiness, I for intervention, N for nurturing, and E for education. And when we put it together, we realized it wasn’t enough just to survive the resus or for the baby to survive. They had to have meaningful survival. And also it’s not enough to educate somebody to give a clinical input or make changes in care unless there’s compassion and nurturing. And so it’s a five petals to a flower, if you think of a sunflower shining in the sun, and that’s the way we like to look at it, that there’s five parts to what we do. And it’s not enough to educate. It’s not enough to survive. It’s not enough just to intervene. There has to be happiness and nurturing in there as well. So we’re very proud of that program.
And one of the biggest challenges we have obviously is feet on the ground. We train the midwives and then they move on to other areas. So it’s a constant challenge to train the next midwife. And so we try to set up a system where they create their own energy, as well, as they get together every Tuesday. One of the biggest parts of the SHINE program is the champion program. And it’s the champion neonatal resuscitation program. And we’ve taken a brilliant cause called the Helping Babies Breathe cause, which is a magnificent program and taught all over the world. It has beautiful flip charts which we use, workbooks which we use, and they come in multiple languages. And obviously for us, we use English and Kiswahili, but there’s French, Spanish, Chinese. And so with the champion program, the whole point is that midwife is the champion for that baby, that they will be the one there for the baby as they do the resus.
Our head midwife, Sister Chacky, teaching her colleagues HBB
And if you look at the actual word of champion, or the definition, the midwives must pledge to support, defend, and fight for the baby enthusiastically. And that comes from the Cambridge definition of champion. And so the midwives pledge, when they do their training, they sign a pledge. And in that pledge, it’s about what they do, how they do it and thinking of it in a different sort of way. And hopefully we can slowly change the culture.
The pledge that the midwives speak and sign, is this one, “I pledge to hold myself to the highest professional clinical skills, care, and conduct. I will at all times be kind, compassionate, and focus on the best outcomes for the mothers and the babies under my care. I acknowledge I’m part of a team, and I will support my fellow midwives, nurses and professional clinicians. I will strive to shine as a global midwife, seeking to increase survival of mothers and babies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Hear me. I see you mamas and babies. I care for you. You are visible. This is my pledge.”
Things that are happening in Tanzania is the audit is now going on. The accountant is going through all of our accounts, which are kept exemplary by Michael and John. John is our in country representative and our legal counsel in Tanzania. He just does a incredible job managing all the salaries, all the legal side of things. And as you know, anybody that is involved in NGO, the paperwork never stops.