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Robin Lim’s crusade against infant mortality
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Robin Lim: midwives and the fight against infant mortality


"She was suffering from high blood pressure because of her overwhelming grief, she was eating poorly (they refuse to eat fish; they say that the fish consumed their children). Their blood pressure was high because they were eating badly; they were eating noodle soup straight from the packet, dry without even cooking it; they were hungry but they didn’t know how to cook.

The husband thought that the wife was going to give birth without any problems. He therefore didn’t bother to call the usual midwife, the one who was present at the birth of the other four children. He told himself that it wasn’t worth it. But his wife began to lose a lot of blood and so he rushed off to find the midwife. She came, realized the gravity of the woman’s situation and asked a young man to go by bicycle to get help. 
 - Robin Lim: midwives and the fight against infant mortality
The ambulance sped off at top speed but she was dead on arrival. The husband told me: ‘If I’d called the midwife, I’d have had to pay 10 to 15K rupees; if I didn’t call her, I could buy myself some cigarettes,’ so that’s what he told me. He didn’t call the midwife so he could buy himself a pack of cigarettes. The midwife was unable to bring the hemorrhaging under control because she was called for too late.

We therefore took the decision to equip every midwife with a cell phone. And if the family live a long way from the clinic, we lend them a cell phone as well. It’s so much simpler now. They call us, the woman wants to give birth at home and so the midwife goes there. The main role of the midwife is to pervade a sense of calm. All the midwives are very sensitive and empathic.


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