I have been placed at a women's maternity clinic here in Tanzania. The very first day there was interesting to say the least. We learned about the clinic and the various services it provides. This clinic offers immunizations for children, HIV testing, prenatal planning and health, family planning, labor and delivery services, as well as, perform surgery to tie a woman's tubes. This surgery is very gruesome from what I've read and heard though. They basically give women a local anesthetic to their stomach and cut them open. Once they are open, women are not to  fight and if they do they are held down, screamed at, and slapped while the surgery is performed. They are basically able to feel everything going on. Once it is done, they are stitched up and sent home the same day. 

We were standing in the labor ward casually talking with the head nurse when a woman was carried into the clinic by all 4's by a number of people. She was then laid on the concrete floor in the middle of the ward. This ward offers no privacy what so ever as there are 15 beds in one concrete room where everyone can see one another. A baby was hanging half way out of this woman and delivered the baby on the floor. She was being screamed at the entire time and then continued to deliver her placenta on the floor as well. They forced her to stand up right away, undress, and walk through the ward to the delivery room to get stitches and such. 
We spend the majority of our time working in the immunizations clinic weighing babies and helping check them in. They use a hook to weigh the children and each child has to have a bag to be hung from. It is very interesting but whatever works works. It's a bit odd but the kids can't have a diaper of any form on so they tend to pee when they get weighed. I almost got peed on a few times! I only spend two days at the maternity clinic as our help was unneeded/unwanted by those there and we felt more of a bother than a help. I am excited to get to move to do orphanage work for the remainder of my time here! 



Leave a Reply