22 Mar 2018

Yale Uni helping to improve maternal care in American Samoa

8:20 am on 22 March 2018

A pilot program between American Samoa's LBJ Hospital and the Yale University School of Public Health, called STRONG, aims to improve the care of pregnant women and their babies.

Dr Nicole Hawley on the right with midwife Kima Savusa

Dr Nicole Hawley on the right with midwife Kima Savusa Photo: RNZI/Monica Miller

Instead of expectant mothers being seen individually, the STRONG study has paired up groups of ten pregnant women who will be seen as a group at the Obstetrics and Gynaecological Clinics.

Assistant Professor at the Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Dr Nicola Hawley, and Kima Savusa, a midwife at LBJ, are the co-ordinators of the STRONG Program.

Dr Hawley said it was being used in other parts of the world with great results.

"We are going to ask women to come in groups of t en and they are going to get the same one-on-one appointment with the doctor but a huge amount of health education and time with Kima to really teach them how to be as healthy as they possibly can be and give their babies the best start in life."