Many child births in the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo) are not safe, especially in Uvira where a majority of Ibutwa recipients live. Considering the disadvantages that many women face in the DRC, having enough money to deliver a child in a safe environment is rare. Ibutwa has been aware of this issue and partnered with a maternity center called Mere-Enfant (Mother-Child Health Center). Ibutwa paid $500 American dollars to the center which guarantees that maternal care will be free for the women we refer over a four month period, including covering the expenses of cesarean deliveries for women experiencing the greatest financial insecurities.
Our partnership has supported 27 healthy deliveries since March 8th (International Women’s Day)! Support women who are not enrolled in our program is a huge accomplishment. This offering is something that we have been problem solving to make possible for a long time. This partnership is a powerful way to ensure the safety of women who regularly can not receive support from Ibutwa in Uvira.
Keep in mind, the expense of childbirth safety is not accessible to all women, which obliges them to give birth in their communities with limited aid from nearby matrons. Relying on community members prevents vulnerable women from becoming prisoners in health-care facilities because they lack the funds for maternal care.
The rate of maternal mortality is 625 deaths out of 100,000 live births. This is one of the highest rates in the world. Poverty constitutes a barrier to access a risk-free childbirth with qualified medical care. The rate of cesarean births is also high and women who cannot pay the cost find themselves confined in health-care facilities for many months after the child is born.
Ibutwa is proud to prevent this circumstance for as many women as we can.
Mere-Enfant is committed to publicizing Vermont Ibutwa in the field, including an announcement of free maternal care through a local community radio station and on its
The benefit of this partnership aims to diminish the number of childbirths at home and in prayer rooms without qualified aid for delivery and prevents the detention of women in maternity facilities for lack of funds to pay for delivery.
This will noticeably reduce the rate of maternal, neonatal, and infant mortality, as well as the childbirth complications in Uvira. The number of women in great financial insecurity kept in various health-care facilities are gradually disappearing.
Reach out to us if you are interested in helping us extend this partnership. We need to educate others to raise funds so this partnership can last. We are so grateful to be able to support women beyond our program and hope to continue!
Lastly, a heartfelt thank you to. Dr. Ombeni James who drafted the contract.
He is also the
Founder and Coordinator of The Mere- Enfant Center.