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His Holiness, Pope John Paul II
MCI and AVI, its Kenyan partner, is seeking volunteer obstetricians and midwives for Project Isiolo, Kenya.
The project is to provide comprehensive rural essential obstetrics in the District of Isiolo, which includes normal care during pregnancy and delivery, and treatment of most obstetric and medical complications. It is centered around the base hospital in Isiolo which has; 8 obstetrical beds; 4 intensive care beds; 2 operating rooms; 4 delivery rooms; a small laboratory; pharmacy; kitchen and laundry and 4 Manyattas (traditional maternity waiting homes) close to the hospital , each with 2 beds. The hospital will provide treatment for most obstetrical complications and is fully equipped. The first of 6 rural parish maternity clinics has opened in the village of Merti with 4 beds for normal cases located some 225 kms from Isiolo opened in June 2011, staffed by midwives. An emergency transport is provided for long distances and two motorbike ambulances for travel to the villages. Communications are good using mobile phones. Training of traditional birth attendants and midwives in basic maternity services and to identify and refer early high-risk pregnancies to the hospital is underway. Emergency obstetrical courses for doctors and midwives are being planned. The hospital will be commissioned on May 19th, 2012. An 8-bed maternity clinic was opened in Merti in June 2011.
The Isiolo Administrative District is located in the centre of Kenya extending north and eastward towards the Ethiopian and Somali borders. The climate is hot and dry for most of the year, with a short rainy season. However, the rainfall is unreliable and there has been a severe drought for the last 5 years. Thus, there are frequent famines and pronounced food insecurity. The roads are poor to non- existent and sparsely populated between major towns. The population of 150,000 consists mostly of pasturalists from the Samburu, Turkana, Borana and Meru tribes. Over 50% are below the poverty line there are two larger towns, Meru and Nanyuki, 50 – 75 Kms away. Isiolo is located about 20 minutes from the Samburu national park.
Maternal and infant mortality rates and the prevalence of obstetric fistulae are among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa. Post-partum hemorrhage and hypertension are the most common causes of death, other direct causes are obstructed labour, sepsis, and ectopic pregnancy. Indirect causes are severe, anaemia, malaria, embolism and AIDS. Most births at present take place in villages with untrained assistance and thus result in deaths. There are no rural health services and the government general hospital in Isiolo is poorly maintained and equipped and has no outreach programme.
Teams of one experienced obstetrician and one midwife are needed to work with Kenyan colleagues for a minimum 3 month service – the working language in English but interpreters in local languages will be available. MCI will cover cost for flights and travel to Isiolo and the AVI will provide accommodation and food and local transport. All necessary documentation required by the Kenyan Ministry of Health will be handled by the Kenyan Episcopal Conference of Bishops’ Health Department.
If you are interested in helping save a mother’s life, please contact us with your C.V. and references at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.