Yata lives in Kigbai, a village 6 miles away, or 3 hours of walking, to reach health care in Tikonko Town. In March 2022, at the end of her first pregnancy, she was referred by her community health workers to the Birth Waiting Home built and operated by Rural Health Care Initiative (RHCI) in Tikonko. While there, she received healthy food, health monitoring of her pregnancy and education about newborn care, hygiene, nutrition, and family planning.
When Yata went into labor, RHCI transported her by 4-wheel drive truck to the nearby Health Center where she received a midwife level of care and delivered a healthy baby boy. She returned to the Birth Waiting Home to recover and several days later, RHCI's truck transported Yata and her baby back to their village of Kigbai.
Your support makes it possible for women like Yata to have access to health care and safe delivery. Women in rural Sierra Leone villages have in the past had to walk for hours while in labor to reach a health center. Many times, they would deliver their baby while on the path, leading to high rates of maternal and infant deaths. Or, be left with no option but to deliver in their village without access to a skilled birth attendant.
You are helping save the lives of mothers and babies in rural Sierra Leone and you are making the world a better place with your donation.
Pictured below: Expectant Mothers at the Mbao-mi Mothers' Home (Birth Waiting Home) in Tikonko. This is one of two Birth Waiting Homes built and operated by Rural Health Care Initiative to give pregnant rural women access to skilled care at childbirth, which greatly increases their likelihood of a safe delivery and healthy baby.
Rural Health Care Initiative envisions a thriving Sierra Leone where healthy pregnancies and healthy children are expected.
Our Mission: To partner with rural communities in Sierra Leone in rebuilding its health care system and overcoming one of the world's highest maternal and child mortality rates.
One in 31 women in Sierra Leone die due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth, the highest in the world. Infant and child mortality are also among the highest in the world. But it doesn't have to be that way.
Rural Health Care Initiative is partnering with communities to change this devastating situation in rural Sierra Leone. Support from YOU will make this possible. RHCI's programs focus on Maternal and Child Health, as well as food security and strengthening of four rural community health centers in the Tikonko Chiefdom.
- Our first Birth Waiting Home opened in January 2018,
- We opened a second Maternity Waiting Home in Gondama, January 2021
- RHCI has served over 930 pregnant women with no maternal deaths.
- Family planning program for women
- Training for Community Health Workers
- Transportation to District Hospital
- Basic OB ultrasound introduced in March 2022
Over 30% of children in Sierra Leone are stunted
- Malnutrition program reaching over 400 children since 2019
- Twice weekly mobile outreach clinics, serving distant villages. Over 5000 patient visits annually, mostly children with infections such as malaria and pneumonia.
- Strengthening of government clinics and peripheral health posts in the Chiefdom through donations of medical supplies and medications that are out of stock.
Food Security/Agriculture Program
- Large Vegetable Garden to supply the Birth Waiting Homes
- Demonstration 3 acre farm, growing groundnuts, maize and cowpeas
RHCI employees 16 full-time in-country staff and over 60 part-time staff in Sierra Leone.
According to Outreach Coordinator Mohamed Kabba, "RHCI has been a blessing to our community."
Below: RHCI Staff in Tikonko March 2022
To learn more about our lifesaving work and our impact:
visit our website at: www.rhcimnsl.org