Ot Nywal Me Kuc (House of Birth and Peace, pronounced oat new-wal mee kooch) is a sustainable, solar-powered birth house located in Atiak, Uganda, 20 miles south of the border to south Sudan. The closest hospital is 50 miles away—more than two hours by truck on unpaved roads with plenty of pot-holes in them and a tendency to flood when it rains, turning the road into a river in some places and into mud in others. The clinic has the only ambulance in the region, and it is essential to getting laboring mothers from their homes to the birth center.
Ot Nywal Me Kuc is a government approved health center served by traditional Ugandan midwives (sometimes called “traditional birth attendants” or TBAs) and an international team of certified professional midwives, certified nurse midwives, and student midwives. We are blessed to have a staff driver, cook, and laundress to help us keep up with the needs of everyday life while being available to serve families 24/7. Our staff translators are an essential part of our team, making it possible for international midwives to communicate across the language barrier as we are still in the process of learning Acholi. Most of the mothers who come here are internally displaced, refugee and recently resettled women and families.
Three to five women give birth daily at the center, and close to 50 come weekly for antenatal care. Outcomes here are significantly better than the national average. The clinic’s goals to reduce maternal and infant mortality are met through comprehensive, individualized care that is run by the people, for the people.
The birth clinic in Atiak is truly the first of its kind. Holistic and restorative reproductive care is essential to a future of peace in Uganda.”
~ adapted from the Site Orientation Handbook, Uganda, Mother Health International