In a region where three-quarters of women give birth at home without the benefit of a skilled birth attendant, Health Equity International places a high priority on increasing access to obstetric care.
In 2019 more than 4,400 women delivered their babies at SBH, with an additional 140 deliveries at our satellite clinic in the mountain town of Villa. Thanks to skilled midwives, nurses, and obstetricians, over 99% of women deliver safely and are able to go home with their new babies soon after birth.
Haiti has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the western hemisphere. Without access to skilled birth attendants and emergency care, giving birth in Haiti can be extremely dangerous—and too often, fatal. But women know that SBH is a safe, compassionate place to deliver their babies. Many mothers travel from hours away in search of this care, often making long, grueling journeys while in labor. They arrive at SBH by car, motorbike, donkey, and even on foot.
Because the journey can be so arduous, we opened Kay Fam Ansent: a temporary home near the hospital where expectant mothers with high-risk pregnancies can live before they deliver. At Kay Fam Ansent, these women have a safe place to stay and easy access to the hospital for checkups and our full range of labor and delivery services.
SBH has been identified by the Haitian Ministry of Health and USAID as one of three National Training Centers for Maternal, Neonatal & Child Health. Our MNCH staff has provided training and site visits for health facilities across Haiti, working to improve skills and capacity so that mothers who cannot make it to St. Boniface can still receive quality birthing care. In addition, each year we host at least 12 medical residents specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. The residents are trained in advanced case management and gain experience in treating more diverse and complex cases than at other care facilities. The residents carry these skills to other hospitals throughout Haiti after their time at SBH, thereby enhancing the level of care provided across the country.