Midwifery skills are saving lives
By providing the funds for midwifery training, the survival rate of women and children in the villages has improved dramatically
According to the World Health Organisation, 800 women die each day in childbirth. Among the Maasai, where women are honoured by how many children they have, on average one woman in seven die during childbirth. It is a statistic with very real consequences and touches the life of every villager.
During her very first visit, the women pleaded with Liz for help to stop the tsunami of mothers dying in childbirth and babies dying in their first 24 hours of life. Compelled to act, Liz asked the community to choose one person to train in 'something medical'. The men said this was women's work; they were happy with the witch doctor's cures for themselves.
Only one woman had been to school and was willing to leave home to train - Rebecca. She chose nursing and midwifery, and Call The Midwife Tanzania paid her fees.
When Rebecca qualified, three men sent their daughters to train too. The survival rate for mums and babies has since risen dramatically and men are now willing to share their problems with Rebecca. The villagers also have more trust in medical, rather than traditional, healthcare. Liz has also held training seminars to teach the women of the village about the reasons why women die in childbirth, usually haemorrhage and infection and how to prevent this, namely accessing regular antenatal care.
The improvement in village services and better rates of hospital referral has reduced the maternal death rate to almost zero!