Postpartum bleeding + FAME Africa

Originally Posted on Days For Girls website here. To learn more about Days for Girls, visit DaysforGirls.org.

DfG volunteer, Alexa, with a new mama in our current labor ward.

DfG volunteer, Alexa, with a new mama in our current labor ward.

Over the years, Days for Girls has learned that our DfG Heavy Flow Kit works not only to help women and girls manage their menstruation, but is also a wonderful answer to help women also manage the bleeding they have after childbirth (lochia) that can be very heavy and generally lasts about six weeks and sometimes even longer. 

Knowing this sparked an idea with one of our amazing supporters and volunteers, Alexa Renehan.  She also supports the work of the rural hospital, FAME Africa, that is located on a hilltop in northern Tanzania.  Alexa knew they were just opening up a maternal care center there and thought the new mothers could benefit from a DfG washable pad.

She introduced the DfG Africa team to the FAME Staff who were excited to learn about our DfG Heavy Flow Kits.  A partnership was formed and a local enterprise in Tanzania was started to make the DfG pads that are sold to FAME for them to share with new mothers after their deliveries. 
 
With limited access to maternal care, Tanzania has an estimated maternal mortality ratio of 556 per 100,000 live births and perinatal deaths continue to comprise a significant portion of under-five deaths. This highlights the importance of responding early in pregnancy and continuing to follow up afterwards to potential issues that arise. The subject of postpartum bleeding is not widely discussed so adding this into their discharge program has made a big impact.  

“Women in Tanzania complain of getting rashes, vaginal infections, and UTI's from the low quality disposables available here. Wearing these irritating disposables for 6 weeks straight while healing and caring for a new baby has the potential to create undue stress and discomfort. I am so proud we are able to offer this option to the mothers in our area."


-Leesha, FAME clinical educator for maternal health | midwife| DfG Enterprise Leader

 In April, Alexa, traveled to South Africa and Tanzania with Days for Girls team members to see this new partnership. While visiting FAME in Tanzania, she met with new mothers and learned how life changing and affirming it is for new mothers, like Editha (above) to have the proper care before, during AND after birth.

This year, FAME will expand its work with maternal and child health by opening a 24-bed Maternity Center with a Level 2 Nursery, operating room, and 4 delivery rooms to accommodate the increasing number of women who now come from outside their district of Karatu, Tanzania.

 About FAME Africa and DfG’s Partnership:

The Foundation for African Medicine and Education (FAME) was founded in 2002 by Dr. Frank Artress and Susan Gustafson. The Foundation's mission is to provide quality healthcare and education to severely under-resourced populations in rural Tanzania. Days for Girls began a joint partnership with FAME in 2018 to supply DfG Heavy Flow Kits and our Ambassador of Health (AWH) education to all postpartum mothers who delivered at FAME. Some of FAMES staff were trained to teach our DfG AWH curriculum to new moms so they know how to care for their DfG Kit. In addition, jobs were created in the community when a local enterprise was started. This enterprise, Boma Africa, not only sales their DfG Kits to FAME but also to other organizations and people in the area.

 
Kathrine Kuhlmann