COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL: Marilyn's Story: Giving birth in a safe environment
In the rural community of Cabacungan in the Philippines, community services are scarce. At the tiny health center, there isn’t even a doctor. Services there are free, but women must make a substantial “donation” for medical assistance in delivering their babies or for health screenings. This means that even the most essential medical care is out of reach for many families. The result is that mothers often give birth at home, without a trained birth attendant, risking infection and other complications. Marilyn Diamante is one of the pregnant mothers who couldn’t afford to attend the health center in Cabacungan. Her husband works as a laborer in the sugarcane fields, earning just $4.45 (USD) per day. But when Compassion opened a survival center in her neighborhood, everything changed.
Today, the survival center is caring for 40 mothers and their babies, ensuring the infants are healthy and offering the mothers opportunities to learn income-generation skills and to grow community with other young mothers. Thanks to your generous support of Compassion’s Survival initiatives, with the help of a birth attendant Marilyn gave birth to a healthy baby. “The Survival Program paid the health center after I delivered my baby, and it gave me medicine and vitamins,” Marilyn says. “I am very thankful because my husband and I could not pay it.”
At the survival center, staff members arrange for appropriate medical care and provide invaluable advice. The center stocks medicines and vitamins that are vital to the health and well-being of new mothers and babies, and crucially, it provides birth attendants to assist during childbirth. The survival center even covers the health center “donation” and the cost of screenings.