Like many of us, Haiti has been on my mind. I remember when Katrina was happening, it was also happening in unique ways for women; women needed access to birth control and abortion, were more vulnerable to rape and sexual assault, and struggled to take care of their children. Since learning that Haiti’s maternal mortality rate was the lowest in the western hemisphere even before the earthquake , I have been especially tuned in to the particular needs of pregnant folks and new mothers.
Madre, an international organization devoted to the human rights of women, has sponsored volunteer midwives to help attend births of some of the 37,000 pregnant survivors of Haiti’s earthquake.
Madre has also worked with Zanmi Lasante, a Haitian healthcare organization founded by Partners in Health, to set up field hospitals and operating rooms. And they have helped to establish a Feminist International Solidarity Camp with Haitian and Dominican Republic women’s groups that will assist women in finding resources and healthcare in the short term and will help to ensure that gender-specific needs will be incorporated into recovery efforts in the long term.
You can donate to the very worthy work of Madre here.
Midwives for Haiti is a group of midwives who were working as volunteers in Haiti long before the earthquake. The inspiring organization trains and supports midwives in Haiti and were on the ground during the earthquake — thankfully unharmed. Their blog, linked above, is a fascinating take on the situation on the ground. They have needs, too — check out the blog.
And, finally, a photo story of a birth in one of the field hospitals can be found here.