In many developing countries, having a baby can come with various life-threatening risks. INMED’s Healthy Babies program in the Ucayali region of Peru focuses on addressing the causes of death and illness in childbirth. Their efforts range from helping women who are currently pregnant to supporting new mothers and their infants. In order to promote prenatal care, this program utilizes trained volunteer community health workers. The health workers educate women about the importance of giving birth with trained attendants, and give them the tools and information they need to identify and quickly address any warning symptoms.
Hilda, one of INMED’s trained volunteers, has learned what to look for and how to act in emergency situations. This training has proven itself crucial in saving lives within her own community.
“Once I went for a home visit to check in on a pregnant woman,” Hilda said. “At first she didn’t want to see me because she was lying in bed not feeling well. When she finally agreed to see me, she revealed that she had been feeling strong cramps for the past two days. I asked if she could stand up a little bit so I could give her water, but my real intention was to see what was going on. It wasn’t just cramps—there was a lot of blood in her bed and I got scared.”
“The intervention came just in time, otherwise the woman could have died from extensive bleeding. The woman thanked me again and again because I saved her life.”
Although the woman explained that she had no money for a doctor, and thought the bleeding would eventually stop, Hilda convinced her that she needed to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
“I took her to the closest emergency room,” Hilda recalls. “There, we learned that it wasn’t just bleeding, it was a miscarriage. The intervention came just in time, otherwise the woman could have died from extensive bleeding. The woman thanked me again and again because I saved her life. After a few years, she gave birth to a healthy baby.”