Maternity Worldwide joins the Thriving Together campaign

To mark World Population Day 2019, Maternity Worldwide is pleased to join 150 other leading environmental and reproductive health organisations to pledge support the Thriving Together campaign. Organisations that have signed up to the Thriving Together campaign form a diverse global alliance united by the agreement that improving access to family planning services is critically important for the environment and biodiversity.

Find out more in our blog.

Maternity Worldwide joins the Thriving Together campaign

The Thriving Together campaign recognises that family planning is critically important not only for women and girls but also for the environment.

Maternity Worldwide is pleased to join 150 other leading environmental and reproductive health organisations to pledge support the Thriving Together campaign. Organisations that have signed up to the Thriving Together campaign form a diverse global alliance united by the agreement that improving access to family planning services is critically important for the environment and biodiversity.

The Sustainable Development Goals call for integrated solutions. Maternity Worldwide, along with other organisations backing the Thriving Together campaign agree that whether working in health or environmental conservation, through sharing information and working together on strategic projects and policies, we can help human communities and their ecosystems thrive. Successful biodiversity conservation requires taking people, our health, and our interactions with the natural world into account.

Increasing human pressures are among the many challenges facing planetary health. In addition, by harming ecosystems, people undermine food and water security and human health, and threaten habitats and species. Ensuring family planning is available to all who seek it is among the positive actions organisations must take to lessen these pressures.

The United Nations projects that global population will rise from 7.7 billion today to 9.7 billion by 2050. Future population growth is uncertain however, and highly sensitive to small changes in the average number of children per mother. If the physical, financial, educational, social and religious barriers to people using family planning services were removed and the average number of children per mother was just 0.5 lower than the UN population projection which is most commonly used, global population would peak at 8.9 billion in 2050, rather than 9.7 billion.

This is all possible, by enabling the exercise of a well-recognised human right, that people should be able to decide for themselves, whether, when, how often and with whom to bring children into the world. Family planning contributes to women’s empowerment, improves family and general health, advances education and life opportunities and, by slowing population growth, eases pressures on wildlife and ecosystems.

The Thriving Together campaign is spearheaded by the Margaret Pyke Trust, which has over 50 years’ experience of family planning. David Johnson, Chief Executive at the Margaret Pyke Trust says: “The existence of barriers to family planning is the most important ignored environmental challenge of our day. This changes now. The Thriving Together campaign encourages cross-sectoral support between health and environmental conservation organisations, showcasing that when people can choose freely whether and when to have children it is for the benefit of both people and planet. Barriers to family planning are not only relevant to those who are passionate about improving health, gender equality, empowerment and economic development, but also to those who are passionate about the conservation of biodiversity, the environment and sustainability.”

The Margaret Pyke Trust’s Thriving Together campaign is informed by its paper ‘Removing Barriers to Family Planning, Empowering Sustainable Environmental Conservation’, which sets out how and why family planning is important for the environment. The Thriving Together campaign website www.ThrivingTogether.Global launches today – 11th July 2019.

About Thriving Together:

At the heart of the Thriving Together campaign is the widespread agreement, for the first time, that removal of barriers to family planning are critically important not only for women and girls, but also for environmental conservation and biodiversity. The campaign is the start of the process to change global policy to recognise this. 150 leading environmental and reproductive health organisations working in over 170 countries have declared their support for the campaign, with particular support from African organisations, working in all 54 African nations. The Thriving Together website, statement and paper can be viewed here.

Brighton Marathon 2020: Ten Years’ Running!

Run Brighton Marathon for Maternity Worldwide

When: Sunday 19th April 2020

Where: Brighton

Price: £55

We have a limited number of Brighton Marathon ‘charity partner’ places available for supporters of Maternity Worldwide. Registration is open NOW and costs just £55.

Brighton Marathon is the second largest marathon in the UK. Starting with a loop of gorgeous Preston Park, then taking in the best of the city centre including the Brighton Pavilion and fabulous stretches of coastal road, you’ll be able to take in some spectacular panoramic views where the glorious South Downs meet the English Channel. With its fast, flat course, Brighton Marathon is always a popular event in the running calendar.

Why not run the Brighton Marathon for Maternity Worldwide? We will provide you with one of our sought-after running vests, a fantastic set of enthusiastic cheerers on race day, fundraising pack including social media graphics and badges, and full support from our team. In exchange for an unforgettable day, we ask that you fund-raise at least £400 for us.

What could we achieve with your sponsor money?

  • £15 can provide a safe birth for a mother in Africa.
  • £30 can enable a woman to attend training sessions and receive a small amount of seed funding to begin their own small businesses. By becoming financially independent women are empowered to become the decision makers about their own sexual and reproductive health.
  • £80 can pay for a month’s midwifery training.

The money you raise will go a long way towards helping save the lives of mothers and babies during childbirth.

In a change from previous years, this year all Brighton Marathon participants self-register through Race Roster: simply click here.

No payment is required at this stage. We are notified whenever someone signs up to run for Maternity Worldwide and will then send you an invoice for £55 to complete your registration. You will be given a Race Roster confirmation number on their ‘thank you’ page. Please make a note of it in case of queries.

We don’t manage the Race Roster site so if you have any problems with your registration, please contact office@brightonmarathon.co.uk.

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at  fundraising@maternityworldwide.org.

Maternity Worldwide – News & Project Updates from 2018

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.

Malawi

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.

Uganda

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.

Ethiopia

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

 

 

 

 

Women’s Group Open Day in Malawi

In November, the women’s group of Mpalasa Village in Mwambo organized an Open Day in order to show case how they have benefited from the project!

The Open Day was fully organized by the women themselves to showcase how they had benefited from the project, and was presented to the Co-Founder of Maternity Worldwide, the Country Director, and the Zomba Civil Society Network.

As part of our Improving Maternal and Neonatal Health Project in the Zomba District, Malawi, we work across 80 villages facilitating women’s income generation groups to empower women by enabling them to become financially independent, and also by running maternal health education groups, so men and women are more aware of the risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth, how to recognize medical emergencies, and the appropriate time to seek help.

During the event, co-founder of Maternity Worldwide, Dr. Adrian Brown, thanked all the partners in a speech for helping with the implementation of the project. He dedicated the speech to the women in the group and thanked them for making the project a success, awarding them all with certificates of recognition.

The Village headwoman for the Village, who is also a member of the women’s group, thanked Maternity Worldwide for having fully supported the groups with the maternal health messages, which has consequently reduced the number of newborn deaths in her village. This has been attributed to the rise of the number of women who are now aware of the importance of delivering at the hospital. She further said that the seed fund basket which keeps revolving in the village as part of the income generation scheme, has helped to improve the people’s lives, as many women are now involved in profiting small-scale businesses and using these incomes to invest in their own wellbeing, thanks to the business management training. In fact, the group has managed to increase the amount of the seed fund basket on their own through the introduction of a 5% interest rate for each loan accessed!

There are a lot of benefits I experienced during the entire time I have been attending and participating in the improving maternal and neonatal health activities. I have been learning lessons which are an eye opener and very educative in improving maternal and neonatal deaths among women in the child bearing age’ Lucy Masaka, women’s group participant.

One member from the women’s group, Phillis, has been using the small loan she got from her group to run a small scale business of selling house paint. Through the business management training the project offered, Phillis was able to grow her business enough to profit, and with this income, she has managed to build a house! In the open day, Phillis spoke of how she is grateful to this project, because not only did it help in reducing maternal and newborn deaths, but is also changed her life.

Throughout the implementation period of the Improving Maternal and Neonatal Health project, all 80 villages have benefited from the income generation groups and the seed funds that come with it. The women’s groups, with the help of the Coordinators and all the facilitators who were trained by Maternity Worldwide, were working hand in hand through this integrated approach to make sure that the seed fund revolves among them, and that these women’s groups not only educate, but empower.

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New Student Midwives – Joyce and Catherine

We are very excited to introduce you to our two new student midwives, Joyce and Catherine!

Joyce and Catherine both enrolled and started their training earlier this August in Zomba, Malawi. They both attend St Luke’s which is one of the CHAM Nursing Colleges in Malawi and offers a 3 year Diploma in Nursing and Midwifery.

Joyce

Joyce Kapalamula is 18 and comes from the Zomba District in Malawi. She has 4 siblings and is the youngest in her family. She was raised by her mother, after losing her father at a young age. Joyce says all her life she has aspired to become a midwife. She is very keen to work hard during college so she can achieve her dream.

 “I want to assist people in my area who need health care, more especially assisting women in giving birth.”

 

Catherine

Catherine Tabitha Malizani is 19 and also comes from the Zomba District in Malawi. She is the first born in a family of six children. Her father is a teacher at a local community day secondary school in the area while her mother does small scale business in order to supplement the family budget. Catherine says it has been her dream to be a nurse and midwife, in order to assist people in her area due to the many health challenges being faced.

 

 

Both Joyce’s and Catherine’s training will be paid for in full with the money raised from our Muffins for Midwives 2016 campaign – what a difference a slice of cake can make, thank you! To find out more about our annual Muffins for Midwives campaign and how you can get involved click here.

We look forward to keeping you up to date with Joyce’s and Catherine’s progress and we hope to receive updates from them regularly to let us know how they are getting on over the next 3 years of their training course. If you would like to keep up to date with our latest news you can sign up to our email newsletter below – whether you’re an experienced Muffins for Midwives supporter, considering getting involved in the future or you’re interested in what’s happening at MW, we would love to stay in touch!

 

Muffins for Midwives 2017

Our Muffins for Midwives 2017 campaign has raised an incredible £10,648!

As the summer comes to an end and the final Muffins for Midwives events have been hosted we are so excited to share our grand total with you all. We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you very much to all of the lovely Muffinistas who hosted an event, for all of the guests who attended and to anyone who kindly donated.

We have LOVED seeing your events in full swing all over the UK – bake sales in the workplace, coffee mornings at home and cake parties on campus. This year, there was even a tea party at the top of Mount Snowdon, Wales to celebrate Muffins for Midwives complete with bunting a cupcakes! Thank you to all who took the time to plan and a special thank you to the team of “Mountain Muffinistas”, we hope you enjoyed your events!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have been overwhelmed by your muffin-tastic support to help make this our most successful campaign to date. It costs, on average, just £80 a month to train a midwife. As you know, all the money you have helped to raise by hosting Muffins for Midwives events will sponsor the training and employing of more midwives in Africa and really will help to make a huge difference. 1 in 22 women die in pregnancy and childbirth in developing countries.  Having a midwife or skilled birth attendant present at birth is one of the most effective interventions to save lives.

More Muffins for Midwives news…

We are also very excited to confirm that our two new student midwives, Joyce (pictured left) and Catherine enrolled and started their training ealier this month. They have both enrolled in St. Luke’s which is one of the CHAMS colleges in Malawi and offers a 3 year Nursing and Midwifery course. Joyce’s and Catherine’s training will be paid for in full with the money raised from last year’s Muffins for Midwives campaign – what a difference a slice of cake can make, thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To find out more about Joyce and Catherine please click here.

Want to get involved?

We will be back next May for more muffins but you can still get involved – Muffins for Midwives events can be held all year round! For a free fundraising pack with everything you need to host your event please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adrian and Mark’s Big UK Challenge

***UPDATE: Adrian and Mark completed their UK epic challenge and raised a whopping £5,773 for Maternity Worldwide! Thank you both so much!***

This August, Maternity Worldwide Chair Adrian Brown and long term supporter Mark Booth are taking on an extraordinary fundraising challenge!

Adrian co-founded Maternity Worldwide in 2002 and him and Mark are best friends. They have decided to cycle the full length of the United Kingdom to raise vital awareness and funds for the life saving work Maternity Worldwide does! They will be cycling 1,400 miles in total from the very north of Shetland, through Orkney then from John O’Groats to Land’s End and finally on to the Scilly Isles.

The challenge doesn’t stop there – on the way, they will also be climbing the highest points in each set of islands and countries! They will be tackling Rhona’s Hill in Shetland, Hoy in Orkney, Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England, Mount Snowdon in Wales and a little bump in the Scilly Isles!

Adrian says ahead of the event;

“Despite the huge challenge ahead, completing it will be such an achievement for me and knowing that what I raise will be helping mothers to give birth safely – it makes it all worthwhile.”

They will set off Friday11th August and aim to complete this brilliant fundraiser in just over 3 weeks! We look forward to following Adrian and Mark’s  journey along the way with written updates, photos and video clips to see how they are getting on – watch this space!

If you would like to support Adrian and Mark during this challenge event please visit their JustGiving page here – you can make a donation and send them a message of encouragement. It costs, on average, just £15 to sponsor a safe birth for a mother in Africa, £80 will sponsor a month of midwifery training and £130 will buy a bicycle for a healthcare worker to enable them to provide essential maternal healthcare to women in rural and remote villages.  Any amount you can give, big or small, will help to make a huge difference.

A special thank you to the generous team at Clarus Wealth Ltd who have very kindly sponsored the customised cycling jerseys for this fundraising event. Clarus Wealth Ltd are based in Woking, Surrey and offer Financial Advice to a range of individuals and companies. To find out more about their work please visit website here.

CRADLE – Annual Meeting 2017 Summary

Maternity Worldwide is the implementation partner (in collaboration with King’s College London) of the CRADLE research project in our project countries Malawi and Ethiopia. CRADLE is investigating the feasibility of using a simple, portable “traffic light” blood pressure monitor in rural antenatal clinics and amongst community health workers in low income countries to monitor Pre-Eclampsia cases and other maternal health issues.  During this process, we have learnt that many young women and girls are dying due to obstetric complications as a result of early marriages. This indicates that there is a gap in access to and provision of information and services.

Below you can find a report written for us by Yonas Guchale, Midwife/Research Assistant, Ethiopia which summaries the Annual Meeting  which took place in March, 2017.

“I attended the CRADLE III second Annual Meeting in Cape Town, South Africa in March.  There were 38 participants representing nine countries, including researchers from King’s College London. The meeting brought together countries that implemented CRADLE III and those that are getting ready to implement the device.

As we are waiting to implement the device it was very useful to hear the experience from other country representatives that have already begun to use the device. During the meeting I learnt;

  • The correct way to use and handle the CRADLE device
  • For the project to be successful midwives, doctors (ANC,  labor, delivery & postnatal) and health extension workers all need to be taught how to use the device and how I can best help to teach them
  • The common challenges and advantages to the CRADLE device i.e. the accuracy of the device

There were many speakers and useful presentations during the Annual Meeting. Leaving the meeting I will particularly be taking with me the phrase from an informational  presentation on Eclampsia, “good care makes a difference”. I understood that this is successfully applied in UK and it has practically helped to reduce Eclampsia and related maternal morbidity and mortality. In Ethiopia, if the CRADLE device is integrated with ANC,  labor delivery and postnatal health work, it is possible to early identify  Pre-Eclampsia. If we properly manage this we can reduce Eclampsia related complications such as strokes and seizures.

 

 

 

 

 

The device will be very important especially for developing and low-income counties as they have limited technology, minimum number of skilled health professionals & high PPH  related  material  mortality & morbidity. It is an affordable, accessible and reusable device.

As a midwife practitioner in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the CRADLE III study has opened my eyes to observe what is happening in the hospital and health centres in a systematic way. It has ignited a desire in my heart to help save the women who are dying due to easily preventable health issues related to pregnancy. CRADLE III has given me a tool to fight for the life of the women I am serving. It has been my privilege to assist this research. The meeting also exposed me to see the experience of other countries with similar challenges and practical, implementable solutions. On behalf of the Ethiopia CRADLE team, I would  like to say you are welcome in Ethiopia and we look forward to implementing the device and working with the wider CRADLE team again.”