October 2021

17 babies were enrolled (12 orphans including a set of twins, 4 babies with mothers not producing milk (including another set of twins and one baby unable to latch due to hydrocephalus), and 1 baby of a mom with postpartum psychosis. Nurses visited a total 165 babies and discharged 13. 253 babies are currently being followed

4 mothers enrolled nurses visited 15 visited and are following 24.

Baby Care Story. Grace was born in June.  She weighed only 5lbs but she was healthy and left the hospital in her mother’s arms after 24hrs.  Breastfeeding went well and Grace filled out quickly and beautifully.  In early September Grace’s mother fell ill suddenly and lost her ability swallow.  She sought treatment at her local hospital and was then referred to the Regional Hospital for imaging.  There she was diagnosed with metastatic cervical cancer.  She died on September 24th. She was 39 with four children. Cervical cancer screenings (pap smears) are not routinely done in Malawi, there is not sufficient laboratory or pathology capacity to provide this service that is considered routine in the US.

Mother Care Story.  After several days of a tortuous labor, 18year-old Justina was transferred from a health center to a hospital capable of conducting a c-section. After the surgeon opened her uterus he lifted her recently deceased baby from her wound.  That loss was already more than her heart felt capable of bearing. After several days her surgical wound started to leak and gape, her abdomen became distended and painful.  She returned to the District Hospital, where the c-section was conducted and from there was referred to the Regional Hospital. When the surgeons opened her, her uterus, which should have been a vibrant pink/purple muscle was black and foul smelling. He removed her uterus and her ovaries, he did not speak to her or her family member. The following day the nurse on-duty at the hospital, informed the patient and her accompanying family member the significance of the surgery.

Our nurses will follow Justina over the next several months, monitoring and supporting her physical and emotional health. They will follow Grace until her second birthday.