Doing Research and Developing My Own Project

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By: María Laura Casalegno, Young Champion of Maternal Health

This blog post was contributed by María Laura Casalegno, one of the fifteen Young Champions of Maternal Health chosen by Ashoka and the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth. She will be blogging about her experience every month, and you can learn more about her, the other Young Champions, and the program here.

December began in the city of Oaxaca. I was there for 20 days doing micro research at the General Hospital “Dr. Aurelio Valdivieso”. The aim of this was to measure the impact of the ALSO course (Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics). The course was held at the hospital during the months of November, December, January, February and March of 2009, training all medical and nursing staff. From this we analyzed data from five indicators, taken six months before and six months after the training period. The five indicators that were discussed were: C-section rate, maternal income to the Intensive Care Unit for Adults, income from newborns with the diagnosis of asphyxia and/or obstetric trauma to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, use of blood products and use of magnesium sulfate in the Obstetrics Department. The data collection was conducted through analyzing records of the different departments. This data was spread in an Excel sheet for analysis. The work was very interesting and I received the cooperation and support of everyone at the hospital. Data should be further analyzed and we expect the results to serve to provide increasingly better trained staff and ultimately provide better care for pregnant women.

When I returned to San Miguel, I attended two events organized by PACEMD. Both events were the opening and presentation of two Automatic External Defibrillators in different crowded parts of the city of San Miguel de Allende. These events were part of the Safe San Miguel Program, Public Access Defibrillation and were carried out in the Public Library and in Plaza Comercial La Luciernaga. These defibrillators, of which are three in the city, are the first AEDs to be installed in any city in Latin America which makes San Miguel a pioneer in emergency care.

Now I am organizing the final things for my trip to Guatemala. There I’ll be working with Kim Dowat, an ALSO Course instructor with several years working with the community in different parts of Guatemala. I am very excited about this trip because it will assist in the development of my own project with knowledge and experience.

As has been so far, the experience in Mexico is becoming more and more exciting every day. I am very happy to participate in all activities of PACEMD and I love working with Dr. Hall and his team.