The Midwife - Project

At eight o’clock in the morning 27 midwives and three nurses from Lamu and the surrounding areas are expecting us for the first seminar on the breezy roof of a house.
Amina looks tired. Her day already began at 4 o’clock, with her taking care of her paralyzed husband and her children before she was able to set out on the two-hour donkey ride to Lamu. In spite of her tiredness her eyes radiate presence and thirst for knowledge. Like the other midwives, who – in addition to the seminar – have to take care of the families and work in the fields, she attends the seminar regularly during the next days.
Full of expectancy and curiosity they eye the first team of homeopathy instructors, but quickly an open and lively atmosphere evolves. The midwives make it easy for us. They show us their recipes against weariness and poor concentration. “Arnica“  is transformed into a catchy song and lively dances effectively drive away paralyzing ghosts of mental fatigue and blocks.
The midwives are between 25 and 80 years old, most of them illiterate. They support each other, treat each other with a lot of respect and without any competition.

Special teaching methods

Working with illiterate people is a completely unknown task and therefore a great challenge for us.

 

Symptoms as symbols

We have created symbols for the symptoms of a pharmaceutical picture, which are given to the midwives on laminated cards. On the back side of the card the text is written in Kisuaheli and English. This method has proved to be very successful.
Up to now 25 pharmaceutical pictures have been taught. The remedies were given to the midwives in small wallets, which were produced locally.
 
After completing a two-year course in acute treatment the midwives are able to differentiate the studied homeopathic remedies and use them for acute problems around   birth. They received a certificate, which now decorates the walls of the hut and boosts the reputation of the midwives.

 

Acting, singing and pictures

A shrill scream pierces the noon time heat in Lamu. Rehema wildly throws her head back, staring into the humid air with scaring wide eyes, struggling and fighting against seemlingly  intolerable pains with animal-like movements of her arms.  Afua tries to hold her, but Rehema violently pushes the hand away. She demands a blanket and at the same time tears her shawl off her head. Hysterically she grabs a bottle of water, but drinks only a tiny mouthful.
28 midwives witness the scene, who now confer with each other in a whisper which remedy could possibly soothe this unbearable pain.
Finally the solution: A large number of midwives have decided on “Bella Donna“ and show the card. Rehema can relax again, and the wild screaming is replaced by loud laughter.

The best way of cooling down emotionally is by singing. Yumbe immediately composes and verses the Belladonna song, and her high voices get a firm foundation through the rhythmic clapping of the others.
The midwives are becoming better and better at the careful observation of symptoms of the patient. Frequent repetition and memorize of the remedies with the help of cases, differential diagnoses and revising the content from the beginning of the course are important.

The symbols are the basic working material for the midwives. They regularly meet in small groups and together study their meaning and interpretation. They invent stories for remedies, present cases they have experienced. They transfer the issues and topics of the remedies to their own culture. Their talents of acting when presenting the cases are fascinating. The learning content is engraved deeply in memory with the help of physical experience.
The depiction of emotional conditions also has its place.
There is a wide range of knowledge - from good and very differentiated to completely intuitive prescriptions.
What is amazing is the high motivation of the midwives. It is especially noticeable in the regular attendance at the seminars and the intensive work in the study groups outside the classroom.

At home they have the symptoms on the back side of the cards read to them by children or grandchildren who can read and write. In some cases the knowledge has been passed on in this way from grandmother to granddaughter.

 

Reports of some midwives (extracts from several conversations)

The most frequent complications are the stalling of the birth process, hemorrhages before and after delivery, breast inflammation, sterility, placenta retention, menses troubles...
All kinds of ailments of the newly born – breathing disorders, rattling because they have swallowed amniotic liquor, weakness, refusing milk, icterus, blue colour,  cramps...

Snake bites, dog bites, stings by rays and other injuries are also treated by the midwives.

After several spectacular successes with Arnica for bleedings and Ledum for snake bites,
the news of  the “healing power of the small globuli“ have quickly got around in Lamu and the area around it. So there is considerable interest also from official sides in further, more advanced instruction and in an expanded availability of homeopathy, not only for midwives.

Videos  etc.

In the training of midwives a lot of teaching and learning is done with the help of role plays: One midwife acts out the symptoms, the other have to guess the remedy. In this way the instruction is very vivid and the women can absorb the content much better.

In the first video you can also see our translator who is always present

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