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Education, Training Key To Improving Health Care

“When I visit [communities] on behalf of Every Mother Counts (EMC), the campaign I founded to reduce preventable deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth around the world, I am reminded that what’s often most needed is education and access to others who are educated,” Christy Turlington Burns writes in the Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog. “Sexual and reproductive health education and human rights education are almost always lacking, even when others are available,” she states, adding, “When you look at education through a global health lens, the ripple effects of higher education on communities and populations sharpen immensely.” She continues, “My trips to Haiti over the past few years have taught me that the people of this beautiful country are quite capable of combating their current climate of high maternal and newborn death rates (the highest in the region) through training, mentoring and the education of nurses, midwifes, and skilled birth attendants.”

Burns discusses EMC’s support of a program at Haiti’s University Hospital, which is run by Partners In Health and their Haitian sister organization Zanmi Lasante (ZL), to train “Haitian nurses including auxiliary nurses, nurse-midwives, and birth attendants in normal birth management; how to better diagnose and manage complications; and to provide emergency obstetric care at University Hospital.” She concludes, “We are so excited about the potential of this new group of health workers who will undergo training through this partnership because we know that the ripple effect of the knowledge and skills they will gain at University Hospital will spread beyond their communities and that someday, everyone in Haiti will have access to the same quality of health care” (8/28).