On the right, HI voluntary worker Bernadette. | © HI
"A woman should not die giving life." Bernadette, an HI voluntary worker, helps pregnant women access antenatal care in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Bernadette, a voluntary member of HI's partner women's club, has been trained to follow-up pregnant women. It was thanks to her efforts that Nephtaline, 15, who was abandoned by her family when she fell pregnant, was provided with information on antenatal care. Aware of the risks that Nephtaline was running for her health and that of her child, Bernadette offered to accompany the young mother to the Kitokimosi health centre, a partner of HI in Kinshasa, to receive antenatal care.
Thanks to her determination, she negotiated a preferential rate and paid the young mother’s medical expenses out the solidarity funds made available by the women's club, which is partly financed by HI. The young mother has since given birth to a baby girl, and both are healthy.
"If HI and Bernadette had not intervened, I and my daughter might not be alive today. I had no money, but I was saved from death. I would now like to join the women's clubs.”
Since 2017, HI has implemented a Mother and Child Health (MCH) project in several areas of DRC and encourages communities to take inclusive action on impairment prevention and detection. It also aims to improve the quality of MCH care in general referral hospitals (HGR) and health centres, and to enhance access to health care for pregnant women and children under five.