The Pregnancy Center
The Dignity center is an organization that we have close ties with. Every third week of the month, they organize an awareness week. This awareness week is about the pregnancy and delivery of the baby. Last October it was centered more around the care of the baby, and in November the care for the mother. They talk about such things as nutrition and hygiene. Also, discussions take place that concern women who are HIV positive or have AIDS. The baby can still be born healthy if the right medicine is used during pregnancy and delivery. In the afternoon the team visits those at home who are unable to come to the center. There are many women who are interested in this week. Between 80 - 100 have come each morning.
In November the organization also provided the men's group with information on the necessary care of the mother and baby during the pregnancy and delivery. These are not issues that the Zulu men want to hear or talk about. It's still very much a taboo, but many infants die from mistakes that could have been prevented. In that same Awareness week, a man was told that his wife was about to go into labor. He was a police officer and needed to get to work. He underestimated the seriousness of the situation concerning his wife and unborn child thus leaving them without medical care. The baby died only a few hours later. This happens often. The men need to be educated and to realize that they are also responsible for the health and welfare of the mother and child.
Only 3 of the 40 men came to the seminars. Later that day, a group of young teenagers did come. One of the boys told us how he forced his girlfriend to get an abortion. It was agonising to hear this and see his pain. He realized what he had forced her to do.
The start of our first pregnancy seminar was on the 18th of October, 2010. During the week long course, lessens were given about the pregnancy and everything that surrounds it. Grace Goeda was the seminar speaker. Also available to help was a doctor and a nurse. About 85 women took part in the lessons. Our goal is to offer this course every third week in the month.
The various topics are:
- The care for mother and unborn baby (prenatal)
- The development of the unborn child
- Caring for the newborn baby (postnatal)
- Questions and concerns for HIV positive mothers.
On the website of the Department of Education we found out that
17.260 schoolgirls in KwaZulu-Natal were pregnant in 2010.
We like to give more education in the schools.