Gillie Kehoe was the featured speaker at the monthly meeting of the Manassas Midwifery Volunteer Doula Group on March 24. Gillie shared stories and pictures from her recent two-week trip to Hinche, Haiti with the non-profit group, Midwives for Haiti.
Gillie is a nurse in the newborn nursery at Prince William Hospital, as well as a student nurse midwife at the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing. A native of Warrenton, Gillie combines nursing and travel, every chance she has. She worked as a public health volunteer in Kenya with the Peace Corps in 2007 and later, as a travel nurse in several Los Angeles area newborn intensive care nurseries.
In Haiti, Gillie worked alongside Haitian midwifery students in the classroom, mobile clinics and hospital where skills that have been proven to save lives in developing countries are being taught to the students in real world situations.
Gillie Kehoe in Haiti.
Currently, in Haiti, 76% of all deliveries are done by non-qualified persons, contributing to the highest infant and maternal mortality in the western hemisphere. The mission of Midwives for Haiti is "to teach women of Haiti preventive care and life-saving skills that they can provide to rural Haitian women during the childbearing years." Through partnerships with other organizations in Haiti and across the world, employment opportunities are being created for the new midwives, as they provide skilled care to women in local villages to help safeguard pregnancy, labor, birth and the newborn baby’s early days and weeks of life. Thus, in time, infant and maternal mortality rates will decline while families and communities in Haiti will be strengthened.
For more information about Midwives for Haiti, or to contribute to further their work, visit the website at www.midwivesforhaiti.org. For more information about the Manassas Midwifery Volunteer Doula Group, visit www.manassasmidwifery.com or call 703-330-3285.
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