Our mission is to provide direct support to professional birth attendants through educational events, use of simulation, and one on one mentoring at the bedside, in an effort to reduce the number of women who die in childbirth in Sierra Leone and beyond.
Many countries are achieving success in reducing maternal mortality: the number of women who die in childbirth. However, other countries continue to struggle with the resources needed to improve the care of pregnant women. Even high resource countries like the U.S. have rising maternal mortality rates. Despite this rise, California has seen a dramatic decline in their maternal mortality rates after their introduction of several practice guidelines called toolkits. According to the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC), the maternal mortality rate has dropped by more than 50% since the introduction of these guidelines.
We believe that in taking the skills, guidelines, and lessons learned in California to the healthcare providers in Sierra Leone, we can reduce the number of women dying in childbirth there.
The name Hawa’s Hope was inspired by the women of Sierra Leone who have either suffered from birth injury or died in childbirth. Hawa, a common name for women in Sierra Leone, represents all of the women who have been injured, lost their newborn, or died, in their hopes and dreams of becoming a mother.
Sierra Leone (SL), West Africa is one such nation struggling with high maternal mortality rates. Already affected by a long civil war, and now suffering from a post Ebola crisis, the country has the worst maternal mortality rates in the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of women who die in childbirth in SL is estimated at 1360 per 100,000. To put that into perspective, the number of women who die in childbirth in the U.S. is 22 per 100,000, yet the number who die in California is just over 7 per 100,000.
Hawa’s Hope is built on the 4 R Framework of Readiness, Recognition, Response, and Reporting. Readiness is concerned with how patients, providers, and facilities are ready for pregnancy and childbirth, including preparedness for emergencies. Recognition is about seeing changes in the woman’s condition and realizing what is currently happening and what could happen next. Response focuses on how providers respond to changes in patient condition and is based on the accuracy of the recognition of the conditions. This also involves giving appropriate medications, using proper diagnostic tests, and completing further assessments. The final framework is Reporting. This involves reporting cases to the required agencies accountable for tracking.