Matwons are Haiti’s traditional birth attendants. Throughout the country, more than 60% of all births are guided by a matwon.
In 2018-19, HPI hired a teacher from Midwives for Haiti (an organization specializing in training midwives and matwons) to bring formal training to the people in the nine villages served. This intensive training course educates matwons in the key points of maternal health/delivery and emergencies, including breech and umbilical cord emergencies.
The 22-session curriculum is built around oral teaching, including the use of pictures and models, and teaching songs to help memorize safe birth practices. HPI gifts each graduate with a book of images of birth. This gift, published and distributed by Hesperian Health Guides, is recognized as an integral course guide by the World Health Organization.
These trained matwons now provide:
Prenatal and postnatal care
Maternal health and sexual health education
HPI has partnered with Dr. Gabrielle Cajuste to teach the future classes.