From birth preparation to literacy training

In the remote mountain region of Darjeeling in India, transport to the health station is often too expensive and difficult for many pregnant women. Together with an organisation called HIMserve, Difäm therefore supports the local training of village midwives and health workers.

From birth preparation to literacy training

In the remote mountain region of Darjeeling in India, transport to the health station is often too expensive and difficult for many pregnant women. Together with an organisation called HIMserve, Difäm therefore supports the local training of village midwives and health workers.

"The pathways in the Darjeeling mountains are rocky and almost inaccessible. Predators lurk behind the bushes," explains project coordinator Dr. Tigi Verghis of HIMserve, which means "Serving the Himalayas". The inhabitants of the isolated mountain villages have to walk for up to three hours through this impassable territory if they want to reach a health facility. " There, however, medicines and skilled workers are often not available. Antenatal care is not provided in the remote villages so that risks for mother and child are often not recognised.

Midwives and health assistants for local care

Dr. Tigi Verghis and his family live in Siliguri, East India. From there he has been supervising the training of women in 18 local villages for three years. "Each village should have a midwife and a health worker," explains the certified agricultural scientist. "This will enable pregnant women to be cared for locally and to receive qualified support during childbirth.“

Wide-ranging educational topics

During the training, the assistants learn how to prepare pregnant women for childbirth, how to provide first aid and how to prevent diseases through hygiene and proper nutrition. Other educational topics include maternal and child health, AIDS prevention and the access to clean drinking water. The training is provided by HIMserve's eleven employees as part of a community development programme, which also includes improving cultivation and livestock breeding as well as literacy courses.

In addition to this training, Difäm also finances the care of new mothers and their babies. Tigi Verghis can already present the first encouraging results: "Health awareness in the villages has risen substantially as the assistants and midwives pass on their knowledge to the villagers. People are gathering together in small groups to jointly improve their health situation".

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