NM midwives respond to need in the Philippines

Surabhi Agrawal is an intern with Social Enterprise Associates and has conducted research in development in India, Ecuador, Rwanda, Morocco, and Bosnia.

As the strongest storm recorded at landfall, Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) made a devastating impact to the Philippines in early November, killing 5,719 people and displacing more than 3 million. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates that 14 million Filipinos have been affected by Haiyan. Many of these individuals are without home or food and there has been an overwhelming response from the international community to provide humanitarian aid.

Detailed areas most affected by Haiyan (click to zoom):

Due to Typhoon Haiyan, it is estimated that around 235,000 pregnant women are in urgent need of assistance, particularly with the restoration of maternal and newborn health services. In the storm-hit areas, around 900 deliveries are taking place every day, generally in makeshift clinics. In the absence of functioning medical facilities and skilled birth attendants, each day, approximately 130 mothers can experience potentially life-threatening complications. There are also around 157,000 mothers who have delivered in the past six months and need of care in order to prevent diseases that could lead to maternal or infant death. Mobile clinics are being set-up in Cebu and surrounding communities, which have faced a large influx of refugees seeking shelter.

Michelle Peinxho, of Espanola New Mexico, plans to travel to the Philippines after Christmas to help provide much-needed care to new and expecting mothers. As a member of Breath of My Heart Birthplace, a community-run organization of midwives, Michelle plans to use her experience providing critical pre-natal, pregnancy and birthing services to assist relief efforts. Michelle is seeking donations to help cover the cost of travel expenses in order to volunteer her services for 4 - 6 weeks. If you would like to donate, please contact Michelle to access the Paypal address.

Social Enterprise Associates, is a consulting firm offering business acumen, managerial experience, financing opportunities, and practical research to clients like Breath of My Heart Birthplace.


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