After serving in several mission trip clinics with never-ending lines, God gave a vision to Dr. Tom McKechnie to empower indigenous pastors with basic health care training so that they could share the love of Jesus with compassion and healing with their communities. Now, instead of a week of seeing and treating others, a team of medical professionals teaches Health & Hygiene, Water Bourne Illness, Wound Care, Burn Care, Pulmonary and Ear, Nose and Throat modules to help equip pastors and mature believers with practical things they can do to help others, what is normal, and what needs to be referred to a clinic or hospital.
On one of these trips, Dr. McKechnie saw a woman lay down in the dirt to give birth. While many communities are resourceful to have a neighborly watch on their expectant mothers, it is common for many to give birth at home rather than a hospital. He also learned that many babies who were not breathing when born were simply laid aside because the midwife was unaware of what to do. Teach to Transform now utilizes Helping Babies Breathe, a curriculum of the American Academy of Pediatrics, to demonstrate what to do in the first minute after birth to stimulate a baby’s breathing. This program has been shown to decrease infant mortality by 40 percent.
One midwife, Mama Ruth in Liberia, used what she learned to train hundreds of other midwives after our team was gone. Our team also learned from her as she has a clinic especially for mothers giving birth to babies.