We would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year. We are extremely proud of the progress we made in 2018 – it was a very busy year indeed. I hope you will enjoy reading some of the highlights here. Of course none of this work would be possible without your generous support and we very much hope you will be able to continue to support us in our plans to save further lives in childbirth in 2019 – Dr Adrian Brown, Chair and Co-founder of Maternity Worldwide.
In 2018 our Big Lottery Funded Integrated Maternal Health Programme was successfully completed. Based in the Zomba district, we used Big Lottery funding to work in two health centres, one hospital and 80 villages. We used our integrated approach to address all obstacles to safe and appropriate childbirth and maternal care. To build upon the existing care available, we trained midwives and strengthened referral systems, and we empowered the most disadvantaged women with income generation groups in the community. We have also improved the knowledge of maternal and neonatal health, as well as maternal mental health, through community engagement across the villages. We are delighted with the progress we have made in the Zomba thanks to the Big Lottery Fund and our supporters generosity.
During our project period…
- We have facilitated a fantastic 12,619 safe births.
- The rate of facility-based births has risen from 79.3% to 97.4%.
- Maternal deaths have halved in our project zone.
- The number of women generating their own income has more than doubled
- The number of women with comprehensive awareness of HIV/AIDS has risen to nearly 100%
“Women no longer die in the villages because they are now delivering at facilities.” Beatrice Afia from the Mpalasa Village, Zomba
We are also currently supporting the building of the M’mabo Health Centre in Zomba. Made possible by an extremely generous donation from one of our supporters, this health centre will include a labour ward, post-natal ward and a nursery.
Maternity Worldwide was also actively involved in a research project in June 2018, which explored women’s perceptions of maternal rights and the effect these perceptions had on their maternal care-seeking behaviour.
In Uganda we have continued our work to reduce the number of women and babies dying or injured in pregnancy and childbirth. Our integrated maternal health programme has been designed to enhance access to quality maternal healthcare in the Hoima and Masindi districts of Western Uganda.
In 2018 in Uganda we have…
- Recruited two more midwives, Olivia and Janeffer, to ensure safe maternal care for mothers.
- Successfully delivered 302 babies.
- Improved referral systems to ensure women are safely transferred to the care they need.
- Facilitated 754 fully packaged ante-natal care appointments.
- Fully established 25 women’s groups that focus on income generation, which has gone on to support 56 pregnant women in need.
- Increased male participation within the maternal health education groups.
Last year was a notable year for developing peace in Ethiopia and the surrounding region, including the opening of the Ethiopia-Eritrea border. Abiy Ahmed was elected as Prime Minister in April 2018. The Ethiopian parliament has appointed women to half of his government’s ministerial posts and recently elected the first female President, Sahle-Work Zwede: Africa’s only female head of state.
Maternity Worldwide has been a partner in the CRADLE 3 research project www.cradletrial.com Between 2017-2018 Ethiopia was one of the sites for this research. The Annual CRADLE meeting in 2018 was held in Addis Ababa with representatives attending from eight sites across Africa as well as Haiti and India.
Thank you again for enabling us to Save Lives in Childbirth