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Teso Safe Motherhood Project

Established
2008
Joined Kangu
almost 5 years
Women Served
5000
Uganda

Services

Prenatal

Prenatal
Care

Normal delivery

Assisted
Delivery

Emergency care

Emergency
Services

Postnatal

Postpartum
Care

Neonatal

Neonatal
Care

Health education

Health
Education

Based in Soroti, Uganda, the Teso Safe Motherhood Project (TSMP) administers a maternity center which serves thousands of people who were displaced by a brutal civil war. These internally displaced persons, IDPs, have moved through squalid camps and are rebuilding their lives after losing nearly everything. Mostly women and children, they have little or no access to basic medical care. They also struggle for access to safe water and decent housing. There are very few jobs.

The Teso Safe Motherhood Project's birth center serves women during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. TSMP provides comprehensive prenatal/antenatal care and focuses on safe delivery. Care is of very high quality, and the birth center has the ability to respond quickly to any complications of childbirth. The communities around the clinic are rural, some are very remote. Four rural locations are visited once a month to bring care to the communities. Another six remote locations are visited by the family planning department monthly. Between the clinic and outreach patients, in a typical month TSMP will attend to 500-600 prenatal/antenatal patients (including many acute malaria cases), 500-600 family planning patients and manage up to 120 deliveries. Women who live in the remote rural locations who have been receiving prenatal care during outreach have access to free transport to the clinic in labor. Called the ldquo Bajaj program by the community, a network of motorcycle transport (a very fancy way to travel in Teso) is available to laboring women.

Many of the nurses and midwives at TSMP are Internally Displaced Persons themselves, and they maintain a keen sensitivity to the trauma their community has suffered, and to the dire circumstances in which their patients now find themselves. TSMP midwives model best practices and demonstrate how the Millennium Development Goals are well within reach, even in high-risk settings, when mothers have access to skilled attendants.

What is truly remarkable about TSMP, what sets it apart from other maternal/child health projects and makes it so successful, is the role of kindness and compassion in the delivery of services. TSMP nurses and midwives have a strong belief in a modern sensibility when it comes to interacting with patients. They believe that trust grows out of mutual respect, and that patients who are treated with high standards of human dignity become full partners in their care.

TSMP's international partners include International Midwife Assistance (IMA), based in the US, providing TSMP with technical and financial support. International Midwife Assistance is devoted to lowering maternal and newborn mortality. After participating in the establishment of a successful midwifery school in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, IMA began developing the Teso Safe Motherhood Project (TSMP) to provide an image of possibility to the war-ravaged Teso Region of Northern Uganda. Another international partner is the Embrace Foundation, a social enterprise that provides warmers to grow preterm and low birth weight infants in low resource environments.

While surrounding systems are collapsing, TSMP offers a glimpse of what a health clinic can be when employees are dedicated to high-quality, compassionate care, as well as transparent accounting procedures.