Welcoming New Life in Côtes-de-Fer
CMMB works in countries with some of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world. A lack of prenatal care and a tradition of home births are two factors that contribute to these high numbers, endangering the health of both pregnant women and children.
Globally, our maternal health programs focus on keeping expectant mothers and their babies healthy and alive. At the Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan Center for Health (BJSH), in Haiti, mothers receive free pre- and-postnatal care, and delivery, including C-sections. These important check-ups help identify risks and when necessary, treat complications before they become deadly.
At the BJSH, Dr. Laguerre is the sole surgeon and the only doctor performing C-sections. Newly acquired anesthesia equipment and the addition of a nurse anesthesiologist makes delivery by C-section available at BJSH at no cost.
As women share their positive experiences with others in their community, we are seeing an increase in patients at the hospital. When they find out that these amazing services are available, many of them free of charge, they seek out care. When people get the healthcare they need for themselves and their children, they live healthier lives.
By expanding the services available at the hospital, we’re keeping women and babies healthy and alive in Côtes-de-Fer and surrounding communities.
Meet three babies who are alive thanks to the care they received at BJSH
Esther planned to deliver at home with a midwife, but after three days of labor pain and no progress, a CMMB community health worker told Esther that she needed to get to the BJSH. She hesitated, “I don’t have any money.” The health worker explained that care for mothers and babies is free and called for help. Within hours, Esther’s first baby was delivered by c-section. “I am so grateful for a comfortable place to recover with my baby. I don’t know what would have happened if I didn’t have this chance.”
“Bishop Joseph Sullivan Hospital is a source of hope for the community. We are really thankful to have great donors and dedicated health providers helping to save thousands of lives.” – Dorothy Emilem, anesthesiologist and CMMB project officer
After hours in labor, Kate was not dialating and baby Kathleen’s life was in danger. Dr. Laguerre determined that she and her baby were now at risk and required a C-section.
Dr. Laguerre explained, “The longer women are in labor, the greater risk of infection and stress on the baby. After three normal deliveries, Katie should have had no problem giving birth to her fourth. These kinds of complications are unexpected and can be deadly.”
“My baby’s alive because of Dr. Laguerre and his team. They really treated me like a human being. They really cared about me and my baby and for that I will be forever grateful.”
We met 19-year-old Jeanne Louise on her first postnatal visit. She and her 54-year-old grandmother Anicia walked for nearly seven hours along a rough road of loose stone and scattered boulders. They took turns carrying baby Anne Flore. That kind of effort to reach BJSH shows just how much the services here mean to families.
When Jeanne first found out she was pregnant, her grandmother remembers telling her, “We are going to the new hospital in Cotes-de-Fer because they treat people well, with care and kindness.” When it was time to deliver, Jeanne Louise arrived at the hospital in early labor. After 24 hours in labor without any progress, and with signs that the baby was in distress, Dr. Laguerre explained that she would need a C-section. While Jeanne Louise says she was not afraid, her mother and grandmother were.
Anicia said, “No one in our entire family has ever had surgery of any kind or a C-section to deliver a child. We were both very afraid. We thank God and the doctors and nurses at BJSH for all they do no matter who the patient.”
Since May 2018, Dr. Laguerre has performed more than 30 healthy babies by C-sections.