Providing skills to enhance and save lives
By sponsoring the development of basic healthcare skills within the Maasai community, many lives have been saved across rural Tanzania
Photos show women in a healthcare lesson, the motorbike used to reach women in rural areas needing medical help, and Rebecca (with braided hair) teaching a traditional birth attendant how to weigh a 'baby'
One of most heart-wrenching realities in Maasai life is that so many women fear pregnancy as the death rate in childbirth is typically so high. The nearest medical service is an unaffordable journey of 40 miles away.
Only one woman in the village, Rebecca, had ever been to secondary school. She volunteered to train as a nurse midwife with full sponsorship from Call the Midwife and its supporters. She now has ten competent traditional birth attendants (TBAs) to help with the workload.
Together, these wonderful women are doing an incredible job. Expecting mothers are much more confident about seeking antenatal care now. Timely intervention and referral means that women can safely return home with their babies or deliver them at home. Amazingly for rural Africa, there are now no reported deaths in childbirth!
Following Liz's recent trip to Tanzania, we're now looking to provide greater support for the birth attendants. They have been having to pay for gloves themselves as the mothers do not realise the need for such a 'luxury'. They've also been taking off all of their clothes to deliver babies as they had no other set of clothing, losing their dignity to save a life. They will soon be the proud owners of burgundy uniforms, giving them a sense of identity and dignity in the village.
We're also planning to provide four ante-natal classes and a delivery kit for each expecting mother, so they can give themselves the best chance of a healthy pregnancy and minimise the risk of infection after delivery. The mothers would be asked to pay a very small donation on each visit at the end of which they would be given the delivery kit, heavily subsidised by Call the Midwife supporters. It will encourage seeking out ante-natal care while showing it has a value.
A donation of just £3 to £5 a month from a few Call the Midwife supporters would help to make this project happen. Would you like to be involved, perhaps in honour of a new baby born into your family in the UK? We'd love to hear from you!