When we started our work, few women were able to give birth with a trained assistant, and maternal mortality was one of the highest in the world with tragically one in four women dying from childbirth related causes.
We have now trained Village Birth Attendants in 9 districts. They continue to receive ongoing training, and assisted 1,965 births in 68 villages in the last financial year. 70% of women in our project area are now giving birth with trained Birth Attendants, and this has made an enormous difference to reducing maternal and infant mortality levels.
We have now trained almost 1000 Village Birth Attendants
The primary causes of mortality are long and difficult childbirth due to 80% of women suffering from anaemia and malnutrition; malaria, tetanus and childbirth fever are further causes. These things can be prevented by simple, low cost measures. Even in our area, nutritious foods such as haricot beans, sesame, dried fish and oily nuts are often available. Our courses cover training in nutrition, pre and post-natal care, hygiene, recognition of complicated births and when a woman needs to be evacuated to a health centre, child health, preparation of foods for malnourished children, prevention of common illnesses, access to family planning for child-spacing and to reduce pregnancies in very young wives or older women, and many aspects of women and children’s health. The training is for a 2-4 year period.
Midwife training class
Midwifery training doll
We have taken on a fourth qualified Midwife, Mariama Kodio, to extend our training to new areas and 169 new Village Birth Attendants have begun training in 57 further villages. We have trained 883 Village Birth Attendants to ‘diploma’ level in the last decade, and built two maternity Centres which have become part of the Mali Health Service. The basic training and facilities have led to a much-improved diet for pregnant mothers; far better growth in babies, who were formerly still tiny at 2 years old; greatly improved hygiene and midwifery practice, and dramatically safer births.
The new maternity centre we have built, made of stone hand-hewn by men in the village
Rhoda and Noe at the maternity centre
The training is so popular that we have a very long waiting list from villages in all the surrounding area, so please help us to develop this work further. The huge difference this makes to the lives of mothers and children is extremely inexpensive.
Train a Birth Attendant for £145!
It costs just £145 to train a woman in basic midwifery, nutrition, pre and post natal care, safe management of the third stage of labour, hygiene, recognition of complicated births where a woman needs to reach a health centre, child health, management of malnutrition, and family planning. We are seeking funds for birth assistant training with Fulani women in remote districts. The women currently give birth alone at home without any help, and have little means of reaching a health centre if there are problems.
Midwifery Kit for a Birth Attendant for £32!
A simple kit with sterile equipment, gloves, a lamp, bathing bowl, soap, a groundsheet, and antiseptics helps save lives.
Assatou Poudiougou with her midwifery kit
Moped-ambulance for £2,000!
The cost of a moped-ambulance for one district, which can take women unable to give birth to a health centre, is c£2,000. This can help to save women and babies’ lives, as well as preventing fistula, caused by very prolonged births lasting several days, from ruining the lives of young women.
If you would like to help this life-saving work, please see our How You Can Help page. Many thanks.