Monique and the Mango Rains describes a companionship that progresses between the writer, Kris Holloway, and a local health care worker or midwife in the Nampossela village, Mali, for the period of the writer’s Peace Corps assignment there, from 1989 to 1991.
After reading the book which mentions the maternal and neonatal situation in Mali, one of the poorest countries in the world, is pitiable. (1) Child birth takes place under lantern light, in Mud bricks with profuse sweating without electricity, no running water, no emergency backup. With only the grace of God and the skill of a midwife that child birth takes place in remote villages in the country of Mali, West Africa, having the third highest total fertility rate in the world and one in twelve women perishes in childbirth or pregnancy. There are hardly any skilled births attendants present in the rural areas. Unlike US where multispecialty hospitals are present in the vicinity and child birth takes place under the assistance of learned and trained midwives in hospitals only. There is no scarcity of electricity and water in US in hospitals and standards of care are very high. But the similarity that comes out between child birth in US and Mali is that the support from midwives is complete and both provide good care to the women in baby handling properly.
The only advantage of giving birth to children it seems to be is the education is free and compulsory for children unto 9 years of age, which is a bright idea to end the poverty from country. Disadvantages of giving birth in Mali are numerous as one would be deprived of excellent medical facilities provided in any other country in a safe and clean hospital environment. Due to poverty, scarcity of...
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...1. Kris as instructed by Monique assists in midwifery work in the small, ruined birthing house, which was built by the Chinese in an earlier initiative of development.
The book provides learning of the simple methods that midwives in village have been using to assist women in childbirth and provide counselling to mothers on their newborns’ health along with keeping records, explaining them to make baby food and oral rehydration therapy to be given to kids which has made an enormous difference in their lives. Holloway along with the village details of midwife practice offers insights into gender relations, biasing in system giving a strong preference to son over daughter, practice of birth control and infertility, along with circumcision in females and the value of women’s work. Work of Holloway depicts keen observations about general features of life in rural Mali.
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