Monday, February 1, 2010

MAternity clinic Ideas needed

Here in Uganda there are no garbage dumps. Everything you use and produce must be disposed of by dumping it on your land. (or on the street). Here at the Asili clinic, placentas are buried in small concrete holes in the ground all around the property. Usd needles are burned in a pit and left in the open for any child to come across. Then buried again in a shallow pit after burning. Women birth withoiut sheets on the bed as there is no way to do all the laundry, to prevent the spread of HIV, to have enough water. Mattresses are too hard to clean with all the body fluids at birth, so are not used.

At Shanti Uganda birth center, where they are building on their one acre of land, they are trying to come up wtih solutions to this situation. How to dispose of placentas that may carry hepatitis and HIV; how to be able to clean sheets and cloth when they may only have rainwater cachement; how to filter the water they have so it is drinkable; how to be able to have mattresses that can be cleaned and how to clean with something like bleach that will kill all viruses and bacteria, but perhaps is not so toxic to breathe and be in contact with for those who use regularly.

Here one must really be extremely aware of what you choose to use and throwaway! An interesting point, is that in Rwanda, they have outlawed plastic in the whole country. When you arrive, they confiscate any plastic bags you have with you at the airport. Every Saturday is designated a cleanning day. Everyone must clean their houses and their yards. "It is a very clean country" said the stewardess when I asked for more clarification about the plastic bag announcement before we landed there (en route to Uganda).

Anyway.. If anyone knows of ways that other clinics do gentle births with limited water, few disposables, and little laundry, please let me know! IT seems that everything we do here is by our own ingenuity, as is true of the way all people live here. but I'm sure others have already figured this out! Somewhere!

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