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Mom and newborn saved by trained medical workers
Doctors and nurses trained in the Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) act quickly to save a woman with complications early in her labor

Priscila del Rosario Gómez Mérida holds her daughter Katerin while Nurse Reyna Latino gives her a checkup. The medical staff at Catarina Health Center was able to recognize the signs that Priscila’s labor and delivery would be high risk thanks to their training in IMCI. - Photo: PAHO/Francisco Martinez.

When Priscila del Rosario Gómez Mérida, a pregnant 28-year-old woman from Guatemala, went to visit her partner’s mother in Nicaragua in February of 2008, she did not imagine she would soon suffer complications that would cause her to give birth early. In Guatemala, Priscila had had regular prenatal checkups and ultrasounds, and everything seemed fine. However, during her visit in Nicaragua, she started bleeding and was taken to the Catarina Health Center. After staff that had been trained in the Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) strategy evaluated Priscila and recognized the signs that she could have a difficult delivery that would put her and her baby at risk, she was referred to the Masaya Hospital, where her daughter, Katerin Gabriela, was delivered by C-section.

The medical staff at Catarina Health Center was able to recognize the signs that Priscila’s bleeding – one of the most common killers of pregnant women and newborns – would mean a high-risk labor and delivery thanks to their training in IMCI. This strategy, developed by the World Health Organization and implemented partially with funding from USAID, provides medical personnel with specific step-by-step instructions that indicate how a high risk situation should be handled in a local health center and when it should be referred to a hospital that may be better equipped to help.

Although Katerin was born two weeks early and there were initially complications in the labor, both Priscila and Katerin left the hospital in excellent condition. When a community health volunteer took Priscila and Katerin for a check up at Catarina Health Center three days later, medical workers were pleased to see that they were both doing fine and that Priscila was breastfeeding her daughter. “I’m very pleased that my daughter is healthy,” Priscila said. “And this is thanks to the excellent attention we received by the staff who took care of us at the Catarina Health Center and the Masaya Hospital.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 09:46

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