Anna is on her first assignment as a nurse for MSF. She is working at a maternity clinic in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, that takes care of women with pregnancy complications.
When I step off the plane Haiti hits me like a wall of heat, in a double sense. The words of the passport examiners almost drown in the orchestra of Caribbean voices and I cannot stop smiling: finally I'm here!
We go through a throng of people and Port-au-Prince's chaotic traffic, and after a while we arrive at the house where I'm staying - Ti Kay Nou, or ‘our little house’ in Creole.
The project I'm working in, CRUO - Centre de Référence an urgency Obstétricale, is a maternity hospital for women with severe pregnancy complications. In Haiti, a large proportion of the population suffers from high blood pressure, which can lead to preeclampsia during pregnancy. It is these patients that the hospital is focused on, but it also admits women with other complicated pregnancies.
Across the globe, several hundred thousand women are still dying annually in connection with pregnancy or childbirth
The hospital has more than 400 employees so it's a lot to get stuck into. There are many faces to get to know and names to remember. The project I have come to does work that is moving and sadly still relevant worldwide. Across the globe, several hundred thousand women are still dying annually in connection with pregnancy or childbirth, and nearly three million children die annually during their first month of life. The goal of the project is to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health in Haiti.
Here in the hospital, it becomes more obvious than ever that behind the statistics and the Millennium Development Goals are individuals. Individuals in the form of women and children who are dying even though they could have been saved.