Motherhood Education Is Saving Lives in Vietnam

23rd November 2022

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Samaritan’s Purse is training traditional birth attendants to help mothers have safer pregnancies.

The highlands of northern Vietnam are a beautiful place to live, with terraced rice fields and magnificent blue skies. Yet, this very remote area lacks convenient access to basic medical care, leaving women and children especially vulnerable.

Samaritan’s Purse is training traditional birth attendants to teach new mothers and mothers-to-be about prenatal and postnatal care, as well as proper nutrition and how to keep themselves healthy during pregnancy.

Senh is one of many young women who have benefited from working with our trained attendants—especially during her recent labour and delivery.

“If the two skilled birth attendants were not there, my son and I would have died,” she said.

Rejoicing in New Life

Senh’s family began worrying when she showed signs of early labour with severe abdominal pain and bleeding. Her mother-in-law quickly went to get Mang, a birth attendant who had been helping Senh throughout her pregnancy.

Senh and her husband are grateful to the birth attendants who made sure their family had the help and support they needed.

Senh and her husband are grateful to the birth attendants who made sure their family had the help and support they needed.

Mang tried riding her motorbike, but eventually had to give it up and walk most of the way to Senh’s house because of heavy rain and fog. Mang examined Senh and then informed the family that Senh’s amniotic fluid had already broken. She recommended that Senh immediately go to a clinic.

“At that moment, I was tired and in pain,” Senh said. “Mang called a medical clinic, and another birth attendant from a nearby village came to my house to help take me to the emergency room.”

Senh started out on her husband’s motorbike, but he had to pull over because it was too dangerous driving on the slippery, rain-soaked roads. The birth attendants helped her husband and father-in-law cut a bamboo tree to make a hammock so that they could carry her to the clinic about 30 minutes away.

“I knew we needed to get to the medical clinic fast, but I was also comforted that if she gave birth on the roadside, the birth attendants would know how to support her,” said Senh’s father-in-law.

Senh was relieved when she finally arrived at the clinic. “The medical staff was waiting for me and quickly carried me to the delivery room. Thanks to their first aid, I gave birth safely. I felt really relieved when I heard my baby cry.”

The team explained to Senh that if she had arrived at the clinic much later she would have died. The young mother was exhausted, and soon after giving birth fainted due to fatigue, loss of blood, and multiple blood clots.

The clinic staff called an ambulance to take Senh to the district hospital for additional treatment. She was able to return home after five days in the hospital.

Mang has checked on Senh and her newborn son several times since they returned home. Both mother and child are now healthy and thriving.

“We are sincerely grateful to the birth attendants. If not for them, I would have had no clue that Senh was in trouble,” said Senh’s mother-in-law.

Please pray for the health and safety of mothers and children in Vietnam. Pray for the birth attendants that Samaritan’s Purse is training to provide medical care in remote, impoverished communities.

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