Reconcile Health

There is a lack of quality and accessible healthcare throughout Madagascar which is further compounded by the lack of resources and infrastructure across the island.  It is the goal of Red Island Restoration to see the physical health of the Malagasy people restored.  SerobityChildCircle-296x300

Women throughout the world deliver their babies at home, alone and unassisted.  When complications arise, disaster ensues.  Babies die, women die, children are orphaned and families are broken.  Here is an account of what we will be facing in Madagascar.  A young mother of three arrived to the Christian birth center, 9cm dilated, never having received prenatal care during her pregnancy.  Within minutes, the midwives realized there was a serious potential problem.  The baby was in a breech position, both feet first.  Seconds later, the mother was fully dilated and the baby was emerging.  Seasoned midwives know just what to do in this type of situation… the first, to be prepared for a full-blown resuscitation of the baby and a potential life-threatening hemorrhage of the mother.  After some incredibly tense moments, a healthy baby girl entered into the world, breathing life, a mother rejoicing, and a family intact.  The implications had she not been brought to the birth center at the insistence of a friend would have been devastating but instead, life was protected and a family preserved.

To help meet the need in Madagascar, Danielle is joining a team of midwives and health educators working to open the Sarobidy Maternity Center in early 2013.  Sarobidy is the word for precious in Malagasy.  We believe that life is precious and that the family unit is precious.  We believe that every woman has the right to quality and compassionate medical care and education as it relates to her pregnancy, baby, birth and the time following birth.

Our objectives are simple and yet because of the population that we’ll be serving– they are also so complex.  A few of our goals…

  • Provide safe, competent and compassionate prenatal, postpartum and family planning care to women in our community.
  • Provide a program that is educationally rich so that women are empowered through knowledge.  Weekly classroom discussions will include topics such as prenatal and early childhood nutrition, female reproduction, pregnancy week by week, common problems encountered in pregnancy such as anemia and high blood pressure, labor and birth, exclusive breastfeeding, mother-infant bonding, infant illness, child/spousal abuse, family planning, sexually transmitted infections, and common diseases such as malaria and intestinal parasites.
  • Our goal is that women will be in the program on average for 14-15 months, entering the program with a positive pregnancy test and graduating when their babies are 6 months old.

As we reach out to the women within our community, our desire is that women will know that they too are sarobidy- precious in the sight of Christ.  A weekly Bible Study will be held at the Sarobidy Maternity Center and women will be encouraged to attend.  All our programs will have a Christian-based approach in word, deed and prayer, and Christ’s love and Truth will be weaved throughout our care.  In an animistic and nominal Christian culture, our ultimate goal is that women’s lives would be transformed as they come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior.

As you can see… this is way beyond us!  And yet as John M. Perkins writes, “God never calls us to do something we can do in our own strength.  He always calls us to get in over our heads- to move out to where we’ll have to either depend on His power or sink”.


In case you want more…. a few facts:

  • Madagascar is one of the poorest countries of the world.  The lack of quality medical care on the island is a reflection of this extreme poverty.
  • The lifetime risk that a Malagasy woman will die in childbirth is 1 in 45 (just for a comparison, in the USA it’s 1 in 2100, in Sweden it’s 1 in 11,400)**
  • The maternal mortality ratio is 440 women per 100,000**
  • 51% of births are attended by skilled health personnel**
  • Only 27% of women use a modern method of contraceptive**
  • The Adolescent (15-19 years) birth rate is 148 women per 1,000 births.  This is amongst the highest in Africa**

​(**According to the UNFPA – The State of the World’s Midwifery, 2011)