Finally Meeting My “Nigerian Family”

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By: Faisal Siraj, Young Champion of Maternal Health

This blog post was contributed by Faisal Siraj, one of the fifteen Young Champions of Maternal Health chosen by Ashoka and the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth. He will be blogging about his experience every month, and you can learn more about him, the other Young Champions, and the program here.

It’s been six months now, this time passed very slowly for me as I was waiting to join my work team in Nigeria. With the grace of God that time has arrived and I am going to Nigeria on 2nd of March. I am so much excited that I can’t express. I am going through the feelings that other Young Champions went through six months ago, this makes me giggle sometimes. Where I am going to stay, how the food will be, and recovering from culture shock are interesting new environment-related worries to deal with. The excitement of working with the community and meeting my mentor (Lucy), after we have been talking online for the last six-months, makes me relax. Honestly I am feeling like I am going from a family in Pakistan to my other family in Nigeria.

Trainings of traditional birth attendants, health workers and health activists have been started in the 2nd quarter, with great enthusiasm and commitment from the trainees. Soon I will be part of the facilitation of the training sessions. Managing time would be a bit difficult as I have to start writing “safe newborn practices guidelines” but I am sure I will manage it. My mentor (Lucy) and the project coordinator (Eunan) expressed their excitement in our last conversation regarding integration of community awareness and training sessions.

I have completed chapter 9 of Safe Motherhood Practices. This chapter is about the management of the 2nd stage of labor. This is the stage when the baby is pushed out into the world by the mother (a real and first welcoming stage in the life of a new human being). Following are the objectives of this chapter:

When you have completed this unit you should be able to:

  1. Identify the onset of the second stage of labor
  2. Decide when the patient should start to bear down
  3. Communicate effectively with a patient during labor
  4. Use the maternal effort to the best advantage when the patient bears down
  5. Make careful observations during the second stage of labor
  6. Accurately evaluate progress in the second stage of labor
  7. Manage a patient with a prolonged the second stage of labor
  8. Diagnose and manage any complication