I delivered at Abundant Grace of God because…

4 04 2015

I wanted to share some stories from our patients about why they are choosing to deliver at our clinic.

Anna*

“I was so glad that I delivered here at Abundant Grace of God [Bugnay site] because I felt safe and taken care of well by the staff. Especially that I had a hemorrhage when I gave birth before at [another location], I didn’t feel safe there because when I hemorrhaged it took them so long before they stopped the bleeding.”

Some of the mothers from the village of Buscalan share about their experiences at AGGMC.

Some of the mothers from the village of Buscalan share about their experiences at AGGMC.

One of the mothers from Buscalan (neighbouring villages) that delivered at our Bugnay site.

One of the mothers from Buscalan (neighbouring village) that delivered at our Bugnay site.

Mary*

“I chose [to deliver] here in Abundant Grace of God because the clinic is well ventilated, has very clean rooms and bathrooms and the employees are very kind to their patients, they treat them all equally. Also it is Philhealth accredited.”

*Mary shares at our Labor and Delivery seminar about her experience during the delivery of her first baby at AGGMC.

(*not real names)

We are so glad that the women of Kalinga are choosing to deliver at our clinic and that we have the opportunity to share God’s love with them in a practical way.

Labor and delivery is the time in a woman’s life where she can be the most vulnerable. Too often in the developing world the workers at local health facilities and hospitals use this time as an opportunity to shame the women and make them feel guilty.

The following is a quote from a fellow missionary working at a Birthing Home in Manila. She had the chance to talk with a senior medical student in regards to attitudes surrounding labouring women in the Philippines.

“What I learned was that birth is often seen as an opportunity to shame and frighten the woman giving birth: not because the exhausted, overworked health provider is mean or malicious, but because it is the time when a woman is at her most dependent and vulnerable, that one can instill such hatred for the process that she will not want to bear any more children. It is a time to make the mother feel badly for poor compliance of prenatal check-ups or for being seen as an eyesore to a society desperately trying to pull out of the “developing world” category.”

In contrast, we at AGGMC want women to feel empowered, loved, cared for and protected  during their deliveries.

Our vision is to “Share the Love of God with the families of Kalinga” and we sincerely pray that every woman that enters our facility will feel that they are loved, not only by us but also by their Heavenly Father.





Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Staff and Volunteers of AGGMC

27 12 2014

Thank you for all your support this 2014!

May God bless you all this coming 2015!

AGGMC Staff Christmas Party

AGGMC Staff Christmas Party





My 10 year anniversary in the Philippines!

30 01 2014

I hope you enjoy this little photo montage that I put together to celebrate 10 years in the Philippines.  (It also includes a very little video of a painful procedure!)

See how many different hairstyles you count!





Midwifery in a Disaster Zone

21 01 2014

In December, following Typhoon Yolanda, one of our missionaries from Abundant asked permission to travel to Tacloban to help with relief efforts.

Here the first-hand account of an amazing experience Aisling had while in the Disaster Zone!

Aisling Lynch with fellow relief workers.

Aisling Lynch with fellow relief workers.

I went to Tacloban to help in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as ‘Yolanda’). The following experience is one that has stuck in my memory and I think it always will.

We arrived at the hospital with a young man from the community I was living in, he was severely malnourished as he had not been able to get food since the typhoon hit, that was almost 2 weeks ago. The hospital had a long line of people, about 300 I estimated, sitting outside the emergency room waiting patiently to be assessed.

Outside the hospital waiting to help survivors.

Outside the hospital waiting to help survivors.

The Korean medical team that were assessing our guy were trying to arrange to refer him onto a medical ship that was docked just outside the harbour of Tacloban City. While we were waiting for information on his transfer, there was suddenly commotion, a stretcher appeared out of nowhere was was been wheeled at a run by the orderly. The Korean medical team were blocking the entrance door and repeating “No, no, don’t bring her inside, we have no OB/GYN on our team”. It was pretty obvious there was a woman in labour outside so I identified myself as a midwife and offered to help if she was pushing and there was no time to transport her somewhere else.

Myself and the medical team ran outside and sure enough there was a tricy with a woman, her family and a screaming newborn tucked up inside. The baby was pink, crying and had great tone so we congratulated the family and tricy driver on a successful delivery and put the mother and baby on the stretcher to be brought inside for a closer look.

 Once inside I got to the business of assessing the woman for blood loss and seeing if the placenta had delivered. I’m not sure exactly how this happened, but I think I went into ‘autopilot’ mode and took control of the medical team. Because we were unsure of the woman’s blood loss I asked immediately for her to be put on an IV of dextrose or whatever they had available (understandably in a disaster zone supplies are limited), then I got ready to deliver what I thought to be the placenta that was visible. But the minute I touched it, I realised it did not feel like any placenta I had ever touched before. 

IMG_3165

It was at that moment I realised the placenta was on the blanket so what I actually had my hands on was the woman’s uterus. There were still some membranes trailing so I twisted these out and then quickly checked the placenta was complete, it was. I remember looking to one of the medical team who was a surgeon and telling him the woman had a prolapsed uterus. He looked at me and asked what do we do with it. I admitted that I had never handled this kind of situation before but to the best of my knowledge we just need to put it back in. His answer was “well, go on then!”. 

 So with a deep breath and shaky hands I got down to the business of replacing this woman’s uterus back inside to its rightful place. It was surprisingly easy and when I was pretty sure it was back where it was meant to be I stood back and observed just to make sure it stayed put, it thankfully did. Baby at this stage had been looked over and wrapped up in a blanket, he was then brought over to his mum and started breastfeeding immediately. In the space of less than 5 minutes, everyone was stable and happy. 

Mom and baby doing fine

Mom and baby doing fine

 

It was the strangest feeling having people come over to say thanks. The entire medical team came over one-by-one to say thank-you to me. To be honest, it was a great feeling! This experience thought me so much; that a cool head in an intense situation is invaluable, that I can trust in my knowledge to guide me in medical emergencies and that good team-work can be achieved through clear communication, even if you have never before met the people you are working with.

Mother and baby got transferred to a nearby hospital that had OB/GYN on their team and from what I heard, both mother and baby were fine. All in all, a fantastic outcome for everyone involved!

IMG_3166 





Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Canada

3 01 2014
Merry Christmas from the Macad Family

Merry Christmas from the Macad Family

The Macad family has taken three weeks away from Abundant Grace of God in Tabuk, Philippines and headed North to spend Christmas with Georgia’s family.

We have had a wonderful time here and have seen lots of family and a few friends. It is amazing how fast three weeks can fly by!

The boys enjoyed making their first snowman (Zion and Lucas’s first time in the snow!), drinking hot chocolate, and even pictures with Santa!

Georgia and Achao enjoyed spending time connecting again with family and friends – lots if them new friends for Achao.

I have to say that I am so blessed to have a staff that I have full confidence in to run the ministry in the Philippines while we are away for three weeks.

We will be sad to say good-bye to all of our loved ones in Canada next week but looking forward to getting back to our home and our clinic – to see all the growing bellies and the new babies born while we were away.

I will be doing a special post to celebrate my ‘ten year anniversary in the Philippines’ this month. Keep your eye out for it – I promise some pictures of really horrible hairstyles! 🙂





Far from our Home … but close to our Hearts.

13 11 2013
Typhoon Yolanda Aftermath

Typhoon Yolanda Aftermath

Typhoon Yolanda hit last week with a fury. The reports have just started coming out and the devastation is heartbreaking.

Here in Kalinga we had a rainy afternoon on the day the typhoon hit – nothing more.

I am so thankful that we are all okay here. That our house is still standing. Our loved ones safe and sound.

It is almost too much to bear when I think “what if we were the ones with our lives torn apart?” So, I try not to think about it.

But it is still there every morning on the television and radio and on Facebook when I open my computer. Families torn apart, missing loved ones, lives destroyed.

I don’t know what my role should be in this particular disaster. But I know that I should not ignore it.

So today I am dedicating this simple post on my simple blog to all of those families that are still reeling, still searching and still grieving. My heart is with you.





Well-Baby Update

10 10 2013

We have a had a great year training mothers in our “Well-Baby” program.  Cathee Mapes has been heading up our program since 2012 and is doing an amazing job!  Cathee knows just about everything there is to know about Primary Health Care, Nutrition, Backyard Gardening, Medical Emergencies, TB … ok a lot of things!  We have been blessed to have her work alongside us in bringing this very important training to the mothers in and around Tabuk.

Cathee Mapes

Cathee Mapes teaching at a seminar at the clinic.

 

Since starting this program at the beginning of 2012 we have graduated over 100 women in the “Well-Baby” Program. That means that we have trained over 100 mothers how to …

Make their own backyard gardens that can give them FAITH (Food Always In The Home)

Mothers learning how to make their own organic pesticides.

Mothers learning how to make their own organic pesticides.

Recognize and Treat Medical Emergencies

Provide adequate nutrition for their children

Monthly weighing of babies at the Well-Baby Seminar

Monthly weighing of babies at the Well-Baby Seminar

Recognize signs and symptoms of Tuberculosis and get treatment

Recognize signs and symptoms of Dengue and Malaria and get treatment

Discipline and care for their children in a Godly way

 

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A mother with her baby boy.

 

In 2014 we hope to reach out even further with our Well-Baby program and train mothers in the mountains of Upper Tinglayan. This will mean hiking into remote villages as well as encountering a lot of traditional beliefs that may go against what we are teaching.  It is going to be an exciting year ahead!

The village of Bugnay in Upper Tinglayan.

The village of Bugnay in Upper Tinglayan.