Change Is About Evolution Not Revolution
Sierra Leone is one of the worst places in the world to have a baby; maternal and neonatal mortality statistics here are among the highest globally. In April 2010 the government of Sierra Leone introduced free health care for pregnant and lactating women and children under five years of age. This was a massive step forward in improving maternal mortality and morbidity statistics as a large proportion of women did not attend hospital due to the cost of treatment. However, it is now imperative to have the resources available to the women when they arrive in the hospitals in order to encourage continued attendance. Having trained health professionals at each delivery is essential in contributing to reducing maternal and neonatal deaths many of which can be prevented through very simple means.
And so The African Maternity Health Link began in February 2012 with our first visit to Freetown, Sierra Leone. With a start up grant from the Department for International Development through the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) we made a scoping visit to Lumley Government Hospital to see if and how we could help. The need was obvious and vast. Through discussions with the Ministry of Health in Sierra Leone and senior managers at Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust an agreement was undertaken to provide training and support for the midwifery staff at Lumley. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by both partners agreeing to cooperate and develop the Link to improve the maternity services being offered in the Lumley area.
The link continued to develop until 2015 when unfortunately the closure of The Alexandria Hospital (WAHT) rendered the health link no longer viable. In order to carry on our work, in 2016 we registered as an independent charity, linking Sierra Leone and UK midwives.
Our aim is to teach, update and support the midwives of Sierra Leone through workshops, data collection and clinical support. We work in partnership with the Cardiff based charity 'Life for African Mothers.'
Sustainable Development goals
Our work in Sierra Leone will be contributing towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal no.3. As midwives working for the NHS we are lucky enough to possess world class skills and feel it is our duty to share these with our colleagues trying to do the same job as us in woeful circumstances.
‘The U.K. should see itself as having a responsibility as the employer of a global workforce and seize the opportunity to support training in developing countries.'
Lord Crisp 2008
Please help us help them by donating to our charity or attending one of our fundraising events!
From left- Helena White (Founder), Gaynor Massoud, Karen Cauvin, Kathy Humpherson, Oli Jeacock & Liz Mcsporran-Bates