Maternal health is an area of particular concern in the Dominican Republic, where limited transportation and hospital overcrowding have elevated a woman's risk of dying in childbirth to nearly 4 times that seen in the US. Hospitals equipped to accommodate 1,500 births a year routinely handle 13,000, and many of the women who come in have had little or no prenatal care. In addition, these women simply do not have access to gynecological surgical care. As a result, birth-related complications such as fistula and incontinence are left untreated, often resulting in social ostracism for affected women.
Saving Mothers has been working with officials from the Ministry of Health and the ILAC Mission in Santiago to find sustainable solutions to these problems. The result is a comprehensive maternal health program that has brought real change to this population.
How we help:
- We work with local community health workers to better understand women's health issues in this region.
- We teach healthcare workers to identify gynecologic problems that can be surgically corrected.
- We deploy teams of skilled surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists to provide pro bono surgical care twice per year.
- We train local surgeons and residents to perform surgical procedures to address issues including pelvic organ prolapse, fistula, and uterine fibroids.