Dr. Joseph and the Health Center
Stitching the Fabric of our Foundation
August 31, 2018
Word of the health center has traveled around the region, and Dr. Joseph regularly sees women in labor trekking up the steep hill to deliver their babies. As of now, he has to turn them away. The health center currently has an agreement with a Level 3 health center closer to town, and more than 50 women have come to the Marietta Steinberg health center and been transferred. Take Lucy, for example.
“Lucy came here with labor pains,” said Dr. Joseph. “I examined her using my fetoscope. From the stomach, I listened. The fetus was alive, it was okay, the position was good. But labor had started. I couldn’t deliver her here because we don’t have the tools, so I referred the mother to Kasese health center 3, and she delivered there.”
Sounds simple enough, but because of the remote location of the health center, ambulances do not come. Lucy rode on the back of a boda boda (motorcycle taxi), in labor, to town.
Often, labor happens at night, and boda bodas are not available.
“If it is at night, challenges come,” said Dr. Joseph. “You may find that the child has died at home. Maternal mortality increases; people have been losing lives. That’s why we need to build a maternity ward here, so that those deaths are reduced, so that more sufferings are reduced in the community.”
For a foundation focused on empowering women, a maternity center is a crucial step in the future.
“If our girls attending the school are not healthy,” said founder Laurie DeJong, “then what we’re doing, it’s not actually achieving a longer term goal of a healthy sustainable community.”