Church training focuses on saving lives of women and children in Republic of Congo

Mortality rate of new mothers drops after similar medical training around the world

Gynecologists and midwives from Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, received training to help them save mothers’ lives after childbirth, by preventing or managing hemorrhaging after childbirth. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints collaborated with the Ministry of Health and Population in the Republic of Congo for the free training in early October.

President Albert Mabiala, first counselor in the Congo Brazzaville Mission, attended the beginning of the course along with officials from the government of Republic of Congo.

This neonatal training has been implemented in countries across the globe and has been proven to decrease the rate of maternal mortality, especially in Africa, reported the Church’s Africa Newsroom.

Gynecologists and midwives receive neonatal training in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo,
Gynecologists and midwives receive additional training in preventing and managing hemorrhages after childbirth in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo, October 2022. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Last year, the Church’s Humanitarian Services provided a similar training to 16,473 people in nine countries.

The “Helping Mothers Survive” class is just one part of the Church’s Maternal and Newborn Care program. Other curriculum includes “Helping Babies Breathe” and “Essential Care for Every Baby.”  The medical personnel in Republic of the Congo participated in the other classes earlier this year.

The Church works with local organizations around the world to train doctors, nurses and midwives on procedures and equipment in a train-the-trainer approach. The trainees are then given resources to teach and train others the same skills. 

The Church also provides the necessary equipment for hospitals and delivery rooms so that the medical professionals can practice and implement the techniques they have learned.

The curriculum was developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics with input from the World Health Organization and other partners including the Church.

The Church’s first efforts to save mothers and babies actually began in 1873, when Brigham Young and Eliza R. Snow recognized that too many babies born to pioneer Saints were dying.

They sent several women to attend medical school in Philadelphia. Returning as doctors, they trained 500 local midwives. The result was a dramatic drop in death and suffering as they and those they trained put their medical knowledge to use, reported the Church News in 2014.

Dr. Michael Visick instructs two women using resuscitation tools on a training baby mannequin.
Dr. Michael Visick of Logan, Utah, oversees an individual practical examination of skills learned by midwives. The “Helping Babies Breathe” course was conducted in Bandung, Indonesia, in January 2014. | Howard Collett
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