Monday, March 3, 2008

Safer Motherhood. Supporting midwives in third world countries.




Image : Mother and son. from Teseum's photos on flickr.com








While I am busy trying to provide an opportunity for midwives to come together and collaborate, using second life, my thoughts go to midwives working in situations of poverty, in third world countries. These midwives and the women they are caring for need our support. Her is a link to a shocking statistic that I think will impact on anyone who sees it. At the time of writing this 89,365 women have died due to childbirth related causes in 2008 when you read it it will have ticked up even more.

The midwives who are struggling to provide care and support to women in these situations must find the whole situation so emotionally draining. I just cannot imagine it. One such midwife is an amazing young woman who has made her home in Malawi. It is this blog posting that made me think of this in the first instance. Many of her postings bring tears to my eyes and I admire her hugely. I was going to suggest she might find some support by connecting with other midwives, perhaps through this virtual environment and then I think about the challenges that she faces on a daily basis. Would this provide her with support or appear shallow and futile? Can collaboration in this way do anything to support midwives and women in these environments? Would she even be able to find the resources to do this. Clearly she does have internet access at least from time to time as she blogs.
What about midwives working in war torn areas of the world, Iraq, Afghanistan, what could we possibly do for them. Or the poverty stricken areas of South America or Asia. I was also moved byt the trailer for this movie Born Into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids.
I would love to help and support these people in some way.

Here is one young mothers story


Just wanted to add a little to this post. I was chatting with a fellow midwife here recently and we were talking about the dreadfully high caesarean section rate in parts of South America. This midwife had spoken with someone who told her that women in the location he came from choose elective caesarean a little before the due date as they do not want to have to travel to the hospital in the middle of the night when they could be hijacked shot and/or robbed. Elective ceasarean is by far the safer option. It does put another perspective on the situation doesn't it?

10 comments:

Sarah Stewart said...

Thank you for this post, Carolyn. Really made me think: http://tinyurl.com/3dxyqc

Carolyn said...

Thanks for the comment and your link here Sarah. I do agree that we who have access to more resources have a responsibility to share these resources with those who do not. Open access courses is certainly one way we could do this. These midwives have so much to teach us also though don't they, it is a two way process. I can't find the link now but I did come across a health trust in Scotland who had created a link with an area in Africa. They support this area and the health workers there respond by creating web videos of their experience of life and work in their area, great idea I think. Could we form a sister one on one relationship with a midwife in a third world area and provide some support both practical and emotional for her?

Anonymous said...

brilliant idea - I would love to do this. I watched born into brothels a couple of yrs ago and it was just so amazing - highly recommend it - just shows how if you want you can reach out and interact with people in a less privileged country and all end up the richer for it - so I love your idea!
rae

Leigh Blackall said...

I rejoice at this realisation coming out of Otago Poly midwidery and will commit more than my paid hours to support you in any effort to bring open access and even services to this challenge. I have many ideas and examples on how to bridge digital divides. Looking forward to more progress here...

Leigh Blackall said...

midwidery is midwifery going world wide btw

Carolyn said...

Love it Leigh.
Thanks for your support and help.

Sara F said...

I think the idea of linking with midwives in developing countries is a fascinating idea! Maybe this would be a convenient and pleasurable way to keep in touch with midwifery developments overseas for both midwives.
I'm enjoying reading your blog!

Becki said...

I think this idea is amazing, and the fact that we are connecting with midwives all over the world, to work along side and support one an other, also we can use other peoples formats and ideas and share ours.

denise love said...

Hi all, I run a woman's health and birthing program in rural Cambodia, and will establish in the next couple of months a midwifery school in a rural area. Love all the support, volunteers etc I can get for the local midwives.

xlpharmacy said...

wow excellent idea, I hope, there must be more people like who think about this kind of topics, that must be taking in account...

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