A new public-private partnership designs better access to prenatal care for the woman in the rural areas of Haiti.
Pregnant for the first time, Carole lives in poverty in the mountains around Les Cayes, Haiti. To get to the nearest clinic, she has to pay twice what she makes in a week. To walk there in the tropical Haitian sun means getting dehydrated, fainting, and possibly dying as the roads are rocky and difficult to pass. She is woman of the last mile—the lowest class of Haitians whose level of poverty is immeasurable. She has been unable to keep anything down the entire pregnancy; her pregnancy bump is hardly noticeable even though she is in her 7th month. She relies on the local medicine woman to give her teas and infusions that give her some nourishment. But she is malnourished, anemic and weak. Worse yet, she complains of severe headache, blurry vision and stomach pains. She is critically ill, and her husband does not know what to do.
Where can she go?
She goes to Mimsi, braced up by the arm of her husband and a neighbor. At Mimsi, the staff of Prenatal Care Providers surround her limp body, evaluating her thoroughly and getting to the bottom of her illness. Using the criteria learned during training, they come up with a diagnosis of pre-eclampsia—the primary cause of death for Haitian women marked by dangerously high blood pressure in pregnancy and sometimes organ failure. The staff—mostly made up of young, post-secondary school women—comfort her and prepare her for transport to the Immaculate Conception Hospital in Les Cayes. Mimsi does this for free. The patient and her baby survive because of a lifesaving C-section she receives at the hospital.
A New Public-Private Partnership to Making Pregnancy Safer in Haiti
Mimsi International’s mission is to provide prenatal health equity through community-powered mobile pregnancy care services to women living in the last mile of Haiti. Pregnancy is the top killer of women in Haiti, especially those living in the last mile. The combination of extreme poverty,
destroyed infrastructure, and a lack of health equity have created a hostile environment to protect Haiti’s most vulnerable women. To accomplish health equity and overcome infrastructure problems, Mimsi trains and develops community members—mostly young women who have graduated secondary school—in pregnancy care to make them Mimsi staff. Then they send them to remote rural villages in a mobile pregnancy clinic to provide comprehensive obstetrical care, using the data procured to assess the real risk that a pregnant woman face living in remote, rural areas of the developing world. Mimsi has reduced maternal deaths in the region served by 16-fold.
Now Mimsi International is pleased to announce a new partnership between the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Dalberg Design, and argodesign to develop a mobile app that will train new staff in Haiti in the art of prenatal care and that will identify pregnant women with high-risk
conditions that we can intervene on. Dalberg Design—in collaboration with argodesign—aims to design a prototype of a cloud-based maternal health care system for women at the last mile. A key component of this new partnership is the development of the Prenatal Cloud, an information system that will collect and store essential patient data and enable Mimsi to better track patient services and outcomes. The app will also support the training and development of Mimsi trainees, allowing for quick onboarding of new staff for rapid expansion of the Mimsi mobile prenatal clinic, and provide frontline staff decision-making support based on patients’ clinical data.
Through this new partnership, Mimsi International is providing training and eventual employment to many more women from the community, while furnishing cost-effective, sustainable, and clinically effective pregnancy care to pregnant Haitian women most in need. Various objectives and goals amongst this union are supported thanks to the help of the IDB. The IDB has rewarded Mimsi a grant to create an innovative project that will expand the existing mobile clinic into new communities in southern Haiti. This will enhance also the prenatal care model by making use of the app’s digital training platform to expand frontline health workers and provide better quality care. Using this mobile app technology, Mimsi will disappear the barriers of distance and cost, disrupting the way pregnancy care is delivered to last-mile communities. Mimsi’s objective is to enroll more than 15,000 pregnant women into prenatal care in Haiti’s rural south.
We need your help to save mothers from dying in childbirth. We need your help to teach young women to identify the sickest of their pregnant neighbors and help prevent a life-altering complication. You can support Mimsi and its new partners as we marry humanitarian work with human-centered design to build a mobile app that improves access to prenatal healthcare and save lives. Please become a monthly supporter of Mimsi International. For as little as $9 a month, you will help us to build Mimsi schools for young women who want to make a difference for their pregnant neighbors. You will also support building our fleet of mobile pregnancy vehicles. Your contribution will educate young women about pregnancy and the importance of preventing any other pregnancies while the new mother bonds with her newborn and supports the rest of her family. Your support will not only save lives but prevent more women from further slipping into poverty. Support our international field operations by going to www.mimsi.org/donate. Select the button to donate monthly. With your donation, you will join our mailing list and be the first to learn how our partnership evolves to decrease maternal and infant deaths in Haiti. All donations are 100% tax-deductible.
Be a part of the loving community that has committed to saving lives of mothers and babies in Haiti. 2020 is a beautiful year to be saving lives. Thank you for your tremendous generosity!