Camotes3_edited.png

BIRTHING CENTERS IN THE CAMOTES ISLANDS

Philippines, 2015

These birthing centers are reliant on municipal energy which is regularly shut off at scheduled times of day depending on the region. Unfortunately it is all but impossible to schedule a baby’s arrival. Babies are often born by the light of a flashlight.

SUMMARY

Sextant partnered with PROJECT HOPE; and the local barangay captains and communities to work on three of the more damaged birthing centers in the Camotes; Cawit, Moabog and Pilar.

These birthing centers are reliant on municipal energy which is regularly shut off at scheduled times of day depending on the region. Unfortunately it is all but impossible to schedule a baby’s arrival. Babies are often born by the light of a flashlight.


In addition to the energy issues is water sanitation. The municipal water that runs through the centers’ pipes is not potable water. As the only water source for the centers, this leaves babies and new mothers susceptible to infection.
Already operating under less than optimal conditions many of the birthing centers were severely damaged by Typhoon Yolanda which swept through the Philippines in November 2013. Some of the birthing centers were left with leaky roofs, others were in need of complete renovation.

The first phase was structural, all three centers received new roofs and some concrete repair in order to ensure structural security. The next phase was innovation. The centers received new weather-resistant solar panel systems that included battery charging systems that store energy for ‘rainy days.’ Each center was then outfitted with a state-of-the-art rain water capture and ultraviolet filtration system for clean potable water.

A solar panel system was installed to provide reliable energy for the centers any time of day. Babies that make their entrance at night are no longer guided by a flashlight but from an overhead light above the birthing table. Each center is also able to provide clean water to its patients and reduce the risk of infection for babies and new moms.  Both the solar panel and water purification systems have the resiliency to operate after a natural disaster and reduce operating costs. Because we worked so closely with local talent, each birthing center has a team of local labor that are now skilled to maintain the systems.

.

Camotes6.png

“The next few days it rained, so when I returned to finish installing the pump and purifier, the tank was almost half full. I turned on the new faucet, filled a glass and drank it to show the mid-wife it was potable. She began to cry, saying they hadn’t had water in the building for over a year. She was so happy and thankful.”

Jeff Rodriguez, volunteer

220 Montgomery Street, Suite 650 San Francisco, CA 94104

415.364.7260

©2020 by Sextant Foundation.