Thursday, August 4, 2016
Final Week of Maternal Health in La Danta
We arrived back to our community, La Danta, for our final visit. It was definitely bittersweet. This was our third trip to the community, and we had all developed friendships with the community members we had been working with. We had also mastered getting down to the shower by the river without falling down the hill which can be really tricky---even in our trendy Nicaraguan rain boots. It had rained a lot right before we came, so the mud was as thick as ever. We actually had a short delay while driving to the Casa Base (our home away from home in the community) when we got stuck in a huge hole. Thankfully, we had a winch on the front of the AMOS ambulance and were able to hook this to a nearby tree and pull ourselves out.
We arrived on a Saturday in order to survey as many community women as possible the following day at church. We reached our goal of 90 surveys completed for our barrier analysis. We also had two training days with the Madres Voluntarias (Volunteer Mothers) during which time we taught and discussed topics such as communication skills, the three delays to receiving medical care, the danger signs during pregnancy, and how to do a home visit to mothers in the community. The last day we split into two groups and went to supervise the home visits that the new volunteer mothers were conducting. They taught mothers in the community about the danger signs that can occur during pregnancy and explained that the women should seek emergency medical attention if they experience one of these symptoms.
If a woman does experience an emergency situation during her pregnancy, it´s very important to act quickly. Most people in the community do not have a car, but the community has a system in place to locate a car or ambulance as fast as possible to rush the woman to El Ayote (a town 2 to 2.5 hours away). However, if the woman has a very serious complication, she may need to be taken to the better-equipped hospital located in Juigalpa, another 3 hours away. From our own experience in the States, we know that people do not always receive immediate attention, which also happens here in Nicaragua. Therefore, this additional delay can further complicate a very delicate situation.