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tv   Asia Insight  PBS  October 14, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm PDT

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run by the ministry of
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health, the college trains doctors and nurses and more recently, mid wives. since 2009, midwifery courses have been created at nine locations across the country. high school graduates train for two years, qualified nurses for one year. those who complete the courses are then dispatched to different regions around the country. so far, 1200 mid wives have been trained and licensed. the laos government ames to increase the number to 1500 by the end of 2015. laos is one of the poorest countries in asia. the country still lacks adequate medical services in rural areas and the mortality rate for
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pregnant women is the worst among all the asean member nations. she completed her mid wife training three years ago. she has sole responsibility for 16 villages. she provides pregnant women regular health checks and teaches them about the importance of diet as well as what to expect before and after chile birth. old customs run deep in laos and sometimes clash with the modern world. many expectant mothers choose to ignore the advice of modern day midwives.
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we follow a haotian midwife in her tireless quest to provide support and care for mothers and their new babies.laotian midwif her tireless quest to provide support and care for mothers and their new babies. laos sits in the middle of the understand doe china peninsula. the land is mostly mountainous with 80% of the population living in mountainous regions. the farming village of kapu is in the southern province and is home to around 1100 people. the health center is the only medical facility in a district of 16 villages.
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the center's three doctors are only general practitioners. if a patient's illness is serious or surgery is required, they are sent to a hospital 10 kilometers away. midwife lochalis was posted to the health center three years ago. the 33-year-old is the district's first ever midwife. she is three months pregnant. she's 19 and has come here for her first consultation. she traveled on the back of her husband's motorbike from her village six kilometers away.
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lochana begins checking the baby's position in the womb. she also measures the pulse. she then asks about her lifestyle and offers advice.
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after the consultation, lochiana weighs out 10 kilos of rice, a gift for each pregnant woman who comes in. as well as providing nutrition, it encourages them to keep coming back. in the afternoon, lochiana heads out for a home visit. she's concerned about a woman in the late stages of pregnancy who didn't show up for her consultation. the woman lives in the village
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12 kilometers away from the health center. lochiana currently cares for 70 pregnant women and is frequently called out when they unexpectedly go into labor or develop complications. 20 minutes after leaving, lochana arrives at her destination. the village is home to 260 people from the katu minority. the village chief shows the way to the expectant mother's house.
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alo is very near her due date. aloo says she forgot the date of the appointment. lochiana discovers that aloo could give birth any day now. aloo is 40 and is expecting her fourth child.
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aloo promises to have her baby at the health center. on weekdays, lochiana stay
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necessary a dormitory next door to the health center and remains on call for emergencies. her husband is used to the arrangement. he is a civil servant at the agriculture bureau and always gets home before lochiana. luchiana decided to become a health care professional during her deans when she developed an unknown condition which caused her leg to swell, making it difficult to walk.
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there were no midwives at the health center where she used to work as a nurse. when she heard the government was starting a training program, she applied immediately and became a qualified mid wife in 2012.wife in 2012.
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seven different ethnic groups live in the 16 villages that she covers. on this day, she's visiting a home to 1200 people. many members of these ethnic minorities maintain long known traditions. one of liciana's major challenges is to change their beliefs about giving birth and raising infants. nevon has just had a baby boy two days ago at the health center. a charcoaled fire burns earn her bed. it's a traditional medical practice in post pregnancy treatment. the burning coals are thought to
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speed up the mother's recovery by warming her body. women also often go on a diet. it's always a cause of concern for lochiana. one of the customs is to avoid eating fruit and vegetables after giving birth.
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luciana explains that a healthy, balanced diet is essential for recovering from childbirth.
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the following day, nebon's husband prepares lunch. he puts a large amount of greens in his chicken soup. heeding lociana's advice, lebon told him she has to eat plenty of vegetables and other foods.
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nevon's mother, however, isn't so happy with the change of diet.
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>> once a month, the 16 village chiefs all gather at the health center. representatives from the health bureau are also there. they talk about the role of midwives and the facility and how to better serve the community.
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lr uciana stresses the importance of coming to the health center for examinations.
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it's been three years since luciana became a midwife.
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when she first started, only about ten women came to the health center for regular checkups. now, thanks to steady efforts, that number has risen to 7037 the evening, she travels to the edge of kapu village. the village chief informed her about another pregnant woman. sesay is 27 and pregnant with her second child.
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lociana goes over the basic precautions the woman should take during her pregnancy.
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it's dark by the time luciana finishes her regular day. suddenly, a villager warns her of an emergency. lociana rushes back.
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the woman's water broke while she was working in the fields. her husband brought her straight to the center. it's her seventh pregnancy, but she's concerned because she miscarried the last time.
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the woman refuses to put her legs in the stirrups. the woman says she gave birth kneeling upright to each of her six children. the woman feels uneasy and wants to go home to have her child.
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luciana has the husband support his wife to keep her as comfortable as possible. the baby starts to move down the birth canal.
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three hours later, the woman is stable enough to return home with her baby. all of her family has come to pick her up.
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after maternity care at laos are still in the early stages, but lociana and her fellow midwives will continue leading the way.
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this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. tension between israelis and palestinians is running high. police in israel shot dead a palestinian man who stabbed a woman near a bus terminal in central jerusalem. the israeli woman fled into a bus and was taken to a hospital. the incident took place in an area often crowded with tourists and locals. our correspondent in jerusalem says four or five gunshots were heard at the nhk office about 400 meters away. in a separate incident, israeli security forces fatally shot another pal


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