Constant Gardener: Midwife Monic Offers Nutritional Advice to Keep Her Clients Healthy and Thriving

Monic Babirye, a midwife at Kikowa Health Center in Uganda, can often be found among the leafy stalks of her facility’s vegetable garden, teaching expectant mothers about the importance of good nutrition—just one of the ways she helps her clients to stay healthy. She was inspired to plant the garden after attending a Jhpiego training where she also learned the importance of keeping good records on her clients’ health and maintaining a spotless maternity ward.

“The training really made me confident in my work,” Monic said proudly when speaking about changes she’s implemented at her health center since the training. “We maintain a very clean and organized facility, where supplies and records are easy to locate.” With the health facility now open 24 hours, heath care providers need to be prepared for any eventuality at any time of the day or night. In addition, women and families can gain access to other critical services, such as HIV testing for pregnant mothers, because they are being done at the facility’s laboratory.

Thanks to the excellent data-collection and record-keeping systems, such as tracking the numbers of births at the center, facility staff are able to assess and address actual health needs of the community, rather than relying on estimates.

“Even a new midwife can look in our records and know the exact type and quantity of supplies they need on their shift. We also keep case notes with details on patients so that all the midwives follow progress and know what issues to look out for,” Monic explained. She is dedicated to maintaining the standards her facility has put in place.

If you stop by the center, you might find Monic in the demonstration garden, smiling as she points out the abundant vegetables to her pregnant clients—a lesson in how they too can thrive with the right nutritional foods.