Letter of Witnowati

“My family and me are fine. Thanks to the Hermann Gmeiner Award my clinic has been extended and now meets the needs of the patients in a much more satisfactory way. Since we now have better equipment in the clinic, patients in need of various examinations or treatments, such as medical checkups of pregnant women or infants, help with family planning (e.g. placing a coil) come to our clinic every day. Even inpatient care of some birth-giving women and new-born babies (incubator) is possible now.

In the past, women who had difficulties in giving birth had to be taken to a distant hospital, whereas today in cases in which a vacuum extractor is needed we can do this ourselves, thus considerably reducing the risk for mother and child – and of course we avoid additional costs.

In case of sudden asthma attacks, which can easily occur in our region both with birth-giving women and babies and infants, the nebulizer has proven particularly useful. Due to the great distance to the hospital we occasionally treat adult patients as well.

The additional instruments also enable me to provide more efficient help in case of emergency. Only recently a birth-giving woman was taken to my clinic suffering from a serious shock. She had been treated by a traditional - i.e. not qualified - village midwife. By pulling the placenta too hard the uterus had been pulled out (inverso uteri + retensio placenta). Upon arriving in my clinic the HB value of the birth-giving women had sunk to 2 g/dl. After succeeding in improving the general condition of this patient I had her taken to a big hospital where she was treated further and saved.

Due to a change in the official regulations I have to continue my vocational training. Practicing midwives can do so at weekends. So almost each Saturday and Sunday I drive one-and-a-half to two hours to college. If during a lecture I get a call from home because they urgently need me, I immediately drive to my clinic and, depending on the condition of the patient and the time left, I drive back to college afterwards!

Infolge einer Änderung der behördlichen Vorschriften, muss ich jetzt meine Ausbildung fortsetzen. Das ist für bereits praktizierende Hebammen an den Wochenenden möglich. Also fahre ich fast jeden Samstag und Sonntag, eineinhalb bis zwei Stunden zur Fachhochschule. Werde ich während der Vorlesungen jedoch von daheim angerufen, weil ich dringend gebraucht werde, fahre ich sofort zu meiner Klinik und falls der Zustand der Patientin sowie die Zeit es gestatten, nachher wieder zurück zur Hochschule!“

Witnowati , Februar 2008

photo: Witnowati