The fight for newborn life in Haiti

Thomazeau, Haiti, does not have the luxuries like most mothers-to-be in the United States are accustomed to during their pregnancy and delivery.

25-year-old mother of four, Romelus, gave birth to beautiful twin girls in the summer of 2015. She lives in a remote, poverty-stricken community where she does not have electricity, clean water, the income to provide daily meals for her family, or a nearby, qualified hospital to care for her throughout her pregnancies.

“I heard about LiveBeyond’s maternal health program, but I was pregnant with twins, so I did not have the energy to walk six hours in one day for a weekly checkup at their clinic,” said Romelus.

“When I went into labor, I traveled two hours in a tap-tap to Port-au-Prince to deliver my babies. During my delivery, they accidentally cut my uterus, so I can no longer have children, even if I wanted to.”

Not only did Romelus deal with an infection in her own body from the cut, but also her twins suffered from malnutrition. Throughout the Thomazeau region, it is widely believed that breastfeeding is unhealthy for newborn babies. As a result of this belief, Romelus’ breast milk quickly dried up after she delivered her twins, and she could not provide her two daughters with the nutrition they needed. One of her daughters lost too much weight and died a few days after birth.

In desperation to improve her other child’s health, Romelus made up her mind that she would make the strenuous trek to the LiveBeyond maternal health clinic for help–distance no longer mattered. She was determined to keep her daughter alive.

“I’m very happy because the LiveBeyond maternal health team welcomed me into their program and have helped me and my daughter so much. They give us food, vitamins and formula, so we are both healthier and happier. My daughter would not be alive without the care that LiveBeyond is providing for us.”

Learn more about LiveBeyond's maternal health program.