Collaboration Agreement with the Ethiopian Institute of Public Health

EPHIMaternity Worldwide have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ethiopian Institute of Public Health (EIPH).  The main objective of the agreement is to collaborate and make available to one another expertise, know-how and equipment to enable each Party to increase Laboratory capacity, and Research Outcomes and to generate Intellectual Property Rights.  The main areas of collaboration will be research, training, capacity building and technical assistance.

“This is a unique opportunity to work with the Ethiopian Institute of Public Health in order to strengthen our common objectives of reducing Maternal Mortality Rates in Ethiopia” said Dr Adrian Brown, Chair of Maternity Worldwide.

CRADLE deviceCRADLE Vital Signs Alert (VSA) “Traffic Light” Blood Pressure Monitor

One of the first collaboration projects will be to investigate the feasibility of the use of a simple, portable blood pressure monitor which can be used by untrained community members with low literacy skills.  The initial research carried out in Ethiopia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania has been very successful. Maternity Worldwide is an implementation partner in collaboration with King’s College of project CRADLE (Community blood pressure monitoring in Rural Africa: Detection of under-Lying pre-Eclampsia).  With a preliminary trial now underway, starting in March 2016 a large scale clustered, stepped wedge randomised control trial will be undertaken to assess the full impact on mortality and morbidity levels amongst mothers and babies.

Welcome to Natalie

Natalie Hayden - Photo

We would like to say a big welcome to Natalie who joined us in September  as our new Fundraising Support Officer. 

Natalie will be your contact if you are taking part in, or organising, an event for Maternity Worldwide and can help you with anything to do with fundraising.  We are delighted that Natalie has joined the team, here’s what she had to say about starting at Maternity Worldwide;

“My name is Natalie Hayden and I am the new Fundraising Support Officer at Maternity Worldwide.  I am 25 years old and recently got married!  After 6 years of volunteering for various charities both in the UK and overseas I knew that I wanted to work in the charity sector and help make a difference.  Most recently, in 2013, I volunteered in Africa for 6 months where I fell in love with the continent and the people.  I have a big passion for people so I knew that Maternity Worldwide was a PERFECT charity to be a part of – what is more important than saving lives in a part of the world that is so close to my heart?!  I have a particular interest in fundraising so being the Fundraising Support Officer I am looking forward to getting stuck into pre-planned activities and organising new events in the local area soon.”

If you’d like any help, tips or advice for organising or taking part in a fundraising event for Maternity Worldwide please contact Natalie on [email protected].

Andrew graduates with a Masters in Public Health

Andrew's Graduation 1 EditWe are delighted to announce that Andrew, our Community Health Promotion Manager in Uganda, has recently graduated with a Masters in Public Health from the Uganda Christian University.  The course included modules on public health, leadership, maternal health and safe motherhood.  This follows Andrew’s degree in Social Sciences specializing in Social Administration and Gender Studies from Makerere University.  In October, Andrew will also be graduating with a postgraduate diploma in Project Planning and Management from Kampala International University.

This is what Andrew had to say about his achievements;

“I thank God for what I am today and for having reached one of the levels of education of my dreams (Masters Degree).  What inspired me to pursue the direction of my studies (gender based studies) was my personal background.  I am the second born (and only male) of three children of my mother Harriet.  As a result, my mother often encouraged me to have love for my two sisters and treat all women with respect, my older sister is a Senior Midwife and my younger sister is a Senior Education Assistant.  Since then, I developed a passion for working with women and children which inspired me to study gender related courses in higher institutions of learning.

Proudly, I am working with MW and have successfully conducted and contributed to; baseline surveys, log frame development and needs assessment reports, strategic country plan for Uganda and am steadily moving forward to work with women groups in the communities around Kiryabutuzi, Hoima district, to enhance women empowerment and maternal and new born care in partnership with other stakeholders.  I am grateful that MW is helping me gain more practical and hands-on experience for the good of mothers and children we serve.”

Congratulations Andrew from everyone at Maternity Worldwide!


Amy’s University placement

Amy Oboussier PhotoAmy has completed her 13 week University placement with us, she was a huge asset to our team bringing a wealth of International Development knowledge and research skills from her University course along with a variety of fundraising and social media skills.  Amy went on to do a paid internship with us over the summer and is now returning to finish her final year at University, we would like to take this opportunity to thank Amy for her wonderful contribution to Maternity Worldwide.  This is what Amy had to say about her time here;

“As part of my International Development course at Sussex University I chose to do a 13 week placement at Maternity Worldwide.  Maternity Worldwide was my first choice as my interests were in gender and health, and the work complemented the modules I had done at university previously.  Because Maternity Worldwide is a small charity, working in the office has allowed me to see a wide range of activities that go behind an NGO.  Most of my work involved helping with fundraising, but I also did research into up-to-date maternal health statistics, alternative ambulance systems and potential donors.  I really enjoyed the research aspect of my job and it helped to inform and inspire the research I was doing independently and for my course.

After the placement had finished I stayed on with Maternity Worldwide for the summer in a paid position as Fundraising Support Intern and helped with admin and fundraising in the office.  I hope to keep in close contact with the charity through the Brighton Fundraising Group, which will allow me to continue contributing to the amazing work of this charity.

Obtaining practical experience has been essential to my understanding of development and the way I will approach my course in the future.  The experience I have gained and the skill sets I have acquired will give me a greater advantage when looking for a job after graduation.  Overall, coming to work for Maternity Worldwide has been a valuable educational experience, but also a pleasure to part of a wonderful team doing vital work.”

If you are interested spending your University placement with Maternity Worldwide please contact [email protected].  Please note, unfortunately, we are not able to offer placements for less than a month in duration.

Wine Tasting Event

We would like to say a huge thank you to Butler’s Wine Cellar Brighton for hosting the 3rd Wine Tasting event to raise money for Maternity Worldwide and to everyone who joined us.

Thank you pictureThe latest event was held on Friday 27th March at the Hanover Community Centre and raised a whopping £1006!

We would like to take the opportunity to thank Henry and Cassie from Butler’s Wine Cellar for their support and time and to the following companies and organisations for kindly donating to our raffle:

The Sussex Yeoman
The Geese Pub
The Flour Pot
Mumma Sew Curly
Freedom Leisure
Roly’s Fudge

Please email [email protected] if you would like to be the first to hear when the next wine tasting is booked!

Welcome to Andrew


We are delighted to welcome Andrew to the Maternity Worldwide team.  Based in Uganda, Andrew is our new Community Health Promotion Manager.  He will be building partnerships with local stakeholders and working with women’s groups in the community to provide maternal and newborn health information.

A note from Andrew:

“I enjoy working with MW because of its integrated approach to maternal and child health issues which focuses on community empowerment and service provision.  Meaning the approach of MW addresses both practical and empowerment needs of women and mothers in particular.

I see MW helping to unlock the potential in every woman, mothers in particular, through an integrated approach of empowerment and capacity building through women groups, income generation and service provision.

My task is to ensure that the vision of MW of a world in which all women and their babies are able to access safe and appropriate childbirth regardless of where they live is fulfilled through combined effort with other MW team members and stakeholders in the areas of implementation in Hoima.”

Meeting Bultu 2 years after giving birth

Bultu first visited our Maternity Worldwide maternal health clinic in Homa, Ethiopia two years ago when she was 34 weeks pregnant.

She lives a 2 hour walk away but made the difficult journey to the clinic to ensure everything was ok with her pregnancy as she had been told about the clinic by other women in her village. Staff at the clinic had been trained by Maternity Worldwide to identify which mothers face the highest risks when they deliver their babies.  As this was Bultu’s 5th pregnancy she was advised to give birth at the clinic as she was at higher risk of heavy bleeding following the birth (a major cause of death in mothers in developing countries).

Bultu returned to the clinic when she was 41 weeks pregnant but it was discovered her waters had broken the week before.  A trained nurse carried out an ultrasound and found there was no fluid around the baby.  Bultu was taken to the nearest hospital where an emergency caesarian was carried out as both Bultu’s and the baby’s life were at risk.  Thankfully Bultu gave birth to a healthy boy, Elsay, weighing 3.7kg.  After a stay in hospital to recover they were both allowed to go home.

Fast forward 2 years and on a recent visit to Ethiopia to carry out a needs assessment for an expansion of our programme work our Trustee, Mary Russell, and volunteer Katherine Lattey, visited Bultu and met her gorgeous 2 year old boy, Elsay.  Bultu is now part of a women’s group in her community and actively encourages all pregnant women in her village to attend the clinic in Homa for antenatal care and also when it is time for them to have their baby. Bultu was excited about a waiting home being built in Homa and said this was a great idea to help women to give birth safely.

You can read the full story about Bultu’s delivery here.

Muffins for Midwives 2014 raises £7077

We are delighted to announce that our second Muffins for Midwives raised a whopping £7077 to train more midwives in Africa.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who hosted or attended an event and to those who made donations, without your incredible support we would not be able to train more midwives.

We had events taking place across the UK as well as Japan, Canada, Gibraltar and Australia!  The cake parties took place at work, at home, in village halls, at local parks and even in a martial arts centre!

Muffins for Midwives - Total Raised Montage

Get involved

It’s not too late to get involved, events can be held all year round, if you would like a free fundraising pack with everything you need to host your event please click here.

Make a donation

If you would like to make a donation to our Muffins for Midwives appeal please visit our JustGiving page here.  It costs just £80 a month to train a midwife, just £15 could provide a midwifery textbook so anything you can spare will make a huge difference.

Lottery Funding for Malawi

BLF Blue Logo - Online UseMaternity Worldwide are delighted to announce that we have been awarded a grant of £498,027 over 3 years from the Big Lottery Fund for our new integrated maternal health project in Malawi.  The lottery funding will be used solely for our work in Malawi over the next 3 years.

The project, starting in September, will work in 80 villages in the Zomba district of Malawi to improve maternal and newborn healthcare.  You will be able to read updates on the progress of the project on our Malawi page.  Please find details of the project below.

What the programme will be focusing on:

Women’s groups

The programme, which is due to begin in September 2014, will work with existing women’s groups and set-up new women’s groups to provide community maternal health promotion. All community members from the 80 villages will be invited to attend as it is important all members of the community are aware of the risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth.

The groups will be run by local volunteers who will have been trained to provide support and guidance to help women to identify there maternal and newborn health challenges. Topics covered during these sessions will include accessing antenatal care, family planning, HIV testing, trigger signs in pregnancy/child birth, planning for delivery, care for newborns, contraception and basic healthcare.

Income generation

Training around managing money and marketing will be provided at the women’s groups, and 1,500 of the poorest women will receive loans for income generating activities. This will empower the women by enabling them to become financially independent and make their own decisions about how to spend the money they have earned. Men will continue to have an important role in household decision making and as leaders within the community, and their inputs will be encouraged at community meetings and other related activities such as health promotion.

Local PartnersTraining staff

Training will be provided which will equip staff with the knowledge and skills to provide the basic and comprehensive obstetric care at two health centres and Pirimiti community hospital respectively ensuring women who arrive at the health facilities to give birth are met by suitably skilled medical personnel.

A Midwife Trainer will lead and supervise a group of 24 staff to become Skilled Birth Attendants (SBA). Referral and management procedures will be improved in and between the facilities to ensure that women receive timely and appropriate care.

The project will also develop a complementary training programme to increase the knowledge of government Health Surveillance Assistants (HSA), which will enable them to advise families and communities on best practices during pregnancy and childbirth during their routine household visits and other community outreach activities. 69 HSA will be trained including seven newly recruited funded by the project to ensure adequate household coverage.

Message from Robert, our student midwife in Malawi

Meet Robert, our newest student midwife in Malawi whose training is being sponsored by Maternity Worldwide.

Robert 2 - April 2014 - CroppedHaving a midwife present at birth is one of the most effective ways to help to prevent women dying during childbirth.  Robert’s entire 3 year course to become a midwife is being paid for by the money raised last year from the Muffins for Midwives campaign where people held cake parties raising money to sponsor the training of more midwives.

Robert is from the Zomba region of Malawi and returned home for Easter where he gave this update to Grace, our trustee based in Malawi:

“My name is Robert, I was born in the year 1988, in a family of four children.  I come from zomba district – Malawi.

I finished my secondary education in the year 2009, but because of the shortage of universities in Malawi, and lack of funds to pay for private institutions I failed to go for tertiary education but I still had the desire to achieve my goals.

Robert - April 2014 - CroppedI started work at Pirimiti Community Hospital as Records Assistant where I reported to the Director of the hospital and Mrs. G. Makonyola, trustee of Maternity Worldwide, who encouraged me to achieve my goal and linked me to this organisation, that is why am here today singing this song.

Having succeeded at the interviews at Trinity Collage of Nursing and Midwifery in Nsanje district, I indeed proved that these people really are concerned with my future as Maternity Worldwide started funding the school fess for me to become a midwife.

I thank Maternity Worldwide on the great thing you are doing, I am a student whom you are funding for nursing and midwifery course in Malawi, I really appreciate your duty.  Having been briefed on some of the ways on how you get the aid to pay for my training, I really appreciate it and may God continue blessing you.”

If you would like to host a Muffins for Midwives event to help raise money to train people like Robert to become midwives please click here for more information.

Update from Robert – May 2014

“School and Examination Procedures

We started school on 6th January 2014; we are 41 in total in our class and learning seven courses for the first semester.  I like the course and am enjoying the environment though it is the hottest environment in Malawi, but I easily adapted to it because I want to achieve my goal.  I also want to thank two mothers I met at Pirimiti Hospital because they encouraged me to follow the right professional that helps to save lives of people.

The examination procedures are that we write continuous assessment that contributes 40% of the last exam.  We have already written this exam and the following are the grades I have scored; Basic sciences 84%, Fundamentals of nursing 74%, Communicable and neglected diseases 76%, Communication in nursing 88%, Principals and practices of nursing 80, Community health nursing 56% and Surgical and trauma nursing, (not yet results).

I am trying to work hard so that I will eliminate the poor grades made.  At Easter holiday I went to Pirimiti and and met with, Dr. Zahara and Mrs. G. Makonyola, we had a good day that day.

My normal day

I wake up at 4:00 AM, have a prayer and then take a shower, prepare myself for the day classes.  I leave for studies up to 7:00 when we have breakfast and then 7:30 classes to 10:00 for tea break, 10:30 – 12:00 another class, and then 2 hours for lunch.  From 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM for another class, we also break up to 4:15 then last class up to 5:00 PM.  We go for super for about one hour, after that have my studies up to 10:30 then go to the hostel and have some minutes for reading then, I sleep.


Most of the assignment given, they just say go and check which needs more sources of information and most of the resources in our library are old, computer lab is having only 6 computers which are functioning against about 200 students in total of all classes, so my first challenge is a computer.  If I can have a personal computer I can minimize some of the failures.  That is my priority challenge, other challenges like stationary I can at least manage, otherwise everything is just ok and once again thank you for the great thing you are doing.”

If you have a spare laptop which you would like to donate to Robert to help with his studies please email [email protected], we would be very grateful and could take it to him in June!