Construction of the maternity ward
In Summer 2011, the newly completed maternity unit was equipped. This project was part of the “Safe Motherhood” project.
Background of the “Safe motherhood” project:
It is still customary for the Maasai women in and around Endulen to bear their children at home in a mud hut with only the assistance of the Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA). When complications arise it is often too late to reach the hospital. Many, many mothers and babies die as a result of this situation, although experienced midwives are available in the hospital. In 2009 Florian, in association with the hospital administration, developed the project “Safe Motherhood” through a desire to save the lives of mothers and their newborn infants.
One result from a workshop, which was funded by the “Endulen e.V. – Trage es im Herzen mit!” association (“Endulen e.V. – Take it with your heart!”) and where over 50 local midwives took part, was the realisation that the lack of a medical facility exclusively intended for pregnant women was the largest hurdle to a reduction in the number of home births. The local midwives were terribly interested in a separate clinic for pregnant women and their accompanying midwives. It was imperative that this area should be kept quite discrete from the other parts of the hospital, in order to prevent the infection of mothers and babies by the other inpatients. See Workshop with Traditional Birth Attendants.
The future of the Maasai, the future of the pregnant women and the future of the infants is dependant upon a maternity ward discrete from the rest of the “Endulen Hospital”.
Construction of the maternity unit:
Work on the foundation finally began in August 2010. In order to stabilize the ground, 1.8 metres of soil had to be excavated before the foundation could be laid. This required many helpers and numerous truck loads of stones.
At the beginning of November 2010 the first walls for the maternity unit were erected. The new maternity station contains 4 wards, each holding 5 beds where either prenatal women or postpartum women can be accommodated with their babies. One ward is intended for prenatal patients, another for postpartum patients, a third for mothers with premature babies and the fourth for women with complicated pregnancies. Premature babies are to be accommodated in specially designed cots placed in the same rooms as their mothers but in a separate area.
In the beginning of February 2011 the building was fully roofed to enable interior work to continue during the rainy season.
Florian was able to discuss the laying of water and electricity with local workmen in February 2011. The new tract was also connected to the hospital’s existing solar system and diesel generator and to an external water tank.
During the construction period the people in Endulen could hardly wait for the new unit to be completed and the first baby to be born there. Local TBAs repeatedly came and asked “Is the station finished yet? Can I bring my mothers to you for their births? Can I see the new building yet?” Because so many women were showing interest we decided to organise a tour of the building and invited all the interested women and birth assistants – they were all thrilled!
Of course, after the construction was completed, the unit had to be fully equipped with medical equipment, beds, bed-side cabinets and so on. Here you can read more about the Equipping the maternity ward.
We would kindly like to thank all those who helped to equip the new department with good and long lasting instruments and materials.
Thank you very much – Asante sana – Ashe naleng!