Country of Operation
- Maternal, newborn and child health
SummaryHeartString is a string of color-coded beads that are used by traditional midwives to assess feral heart tones in resource constrained settings. This is a culturally appropriate and acceptable tool that enable the midwife to seek help early in emergency and improve outcomes for a mother and unborn
Internationally accepted best practices such as monitoring fetal heart rates throughout pregnancy and delivery can make the difference between an infant who lives and an infant who dies, a mother who makes it to the hospital in time and a mother who does not. Studies by the World Health Organization show that pregnant women who receive intermittent fetal monitoring have dramatically reduced rates of infant mortality. It is not realistic to expect that Western conventions such as fetoscopes will work to monitor fetal heart tones in an area where most of the health attendants cannot count. Depending on government funded health units to monitor pregnant women means that the majority of women who live far from city centers, do not have access.
Key program components
At Mother Health International we have created a color-coded bracelet called the Heart String, which allows health attendants, who cannot read or write, to monitor fetal heart tones and pulse in pregnant women and infants. Attendants listen to the FHT and press a bead each time they hear a ‘beat’- after fifteen seconds, they will look at where they have landed on the bracelet. If they are in the white section, the FHT is too low. The Green, the FHT is in a range of normal. The Red, the FHT is too high. Detailed instructions (both verbally and through images) on what to do in each instance come with the Heart Strings.
- Mother Health InternationalNot-for-profit