Project: Mothers Alive
Mothers Alive aims to equip rural health workers with equipment that can save up to 70 birthing women who might otherwise die from post-partum haemorrhage
In 2013, the BBC documentary The Edge of Joy alerted Fiona Lovatt to the horrifying statistics regarding maternal mortality and introduced her to the life-wrap or ‘NASG’ Non-pneumatic Anti-shock Garment that could grant women an additional 24 hours to get attention if they suffered from the unpredictable reality of post-partum haemorrhage. Fiona began fundraising while in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Together with Dr. Isa, a doctor working in maternal health-care within Nigeria, she set up Mothers Alive and succeeded to buy, train and distribute 12 of these life-wraps to rural health-care workers and midwives.
In 2012, the World Health Organization included the NASG in its recommendations for the treatment of post-partum hemorrhage
Is its use unlimited?
Properly cared for it can be used up to 70 times. Training covers how to care of the life-wrap
How is it used?
When a woman, in the third stage of labour, shows signs of shock or excessive bleeding, the life wrap is applied. It is made of neoprene, similar to a wet suit. Imagine a pair of trousers cut open and then held together with Velcro. The firm pressure of the suit, applied first to the calves, thighs and then the abdomen, ensures blood remains around the vital organs.
One person can apply the life-wrap and the woman can then be moved to a facility that can administer a drip and a blood transfusion if necessary, She can be home the next day.
How is decided who gets a life-wrap allocated?
Life-wraps are issued to practitioners in the field who can attend a training session. They must prove their competence and knowledge of pregnancy, labour and post natal care of mother and child. The life-wrap belongs to them personally as part of their professional kit.
What training will be offered?
A DVD and handbook cover the management of labour. The training focuses on the situations where the life-wrap can save a life. It is not a course in obstetrics or gynecology. Participants have a full day 1:1 or in small groups in a language that suits the birth attendant/s. It combines the literature, AV material, practical and oral work.
What your Donation can do*
* Amounts shown are accurate in US$ and GB£ March 2015.
DONATE $180 (£125) per Life-wrap ($2.50 per life saved)
One postpartum hemorrhage death occurs every 4 minutes. One of the key issues is the speed with which an anemic woman can lose her life if she is not provided life-saving care. Often women die in transit to a higher-level facility. But what if you could ‘buy time’—stabilizing the woman until she reaches a higher level facility? This is the exact idea behind anti-shock garments.- Maternova
Thank You To
Meg Wirth from Maternova has been immensely supportive and helpful to the Mothers Alive project, advising us every step of the difficult way. We learned a lot and her experience was invaluable.