(NEW YORK) — Dr. Natasha Anushri Anandaraja, director of the Mount Sinai Global Health Training Center, and Dr. Sigrid Hahn have spent the past two years traveling with medical students from Mt. Sinai in New York City to remote Mozambique, where they are working with local health providers there to help villagers in remote areas gain access to basic health care.
Hahn explained that poverty is the biggest underlying cause for health issues in a region where the average salary is just seven cents a day. The Mozambique Health Ministry is working to convince villagers to understand why it is important that women go to the hospital where it is safer to have their babies.
The doctors are partnered up with Mozambican health care workers who speak the languages of the region and understand the deeply ingrained cultural issues. While trying to impress upon villagers the importance of getting to the hospital, the team recognizes that so many of the women will continue to give birth in the villages in part because they are so far away from any hospital and getting there is difficult.
In light of the circumstances, the team trains volunteer village birth attendants on how to identify and handle complications that arise in pregnancy and childbirth in a region where one in five infants die.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
Josh Friesen, Idaho State Journal
Karen Lehr, KIVI
Susan Scutti, CNN