Hey everyone! Please have a read and support me on my journey if you can!
I am now in my third and final year of Midwifery training at Kingston/St Georges University, I have an amazing opportunity to do an elective placement as part of my course to explore maternity services and variations in childbirth and midwifery practices from an international perspective. I have decided to take a huge step out of my comfort zone and travel to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Africa in 5 months time to get first-hand experience in a very different clinical setting compared to London. This will enable me to consider midwifery care in remote, under-resourced, developing countries around the world whilst learning more about different sociocultural beliefs surrounding childbirth.
I have a particular interest in women’s labour and birth experiences and without a doubt this trip will enable me to gain major insight into how limited care, equipment, resources and funding has a huge impact on maternal and child health. While substantial progress has been achieved, sadly 803 women still die every day due to childbirth. About 99% of the world’s maternal deaths occur in developing regions, with Sub-Saharan Africa alone accounting for 66% of deaths. The lifetime risk of death for women in high income countries like the UK, where health services are more accessible is 1 in 2400, but in low income countries such as Tanzania 1 in 180 women are dying due to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Sub-Saharan Africa also has the highest child mortality rate in the world. The incidence of deaths within the first month of life is 4 in 10, while 6 in 10 deaths occur within the first year. Sadly 1 child in every 12 will not survive passed their 5th birthday. The availability of drugs and supplies is a challenge, there is inadequate systems for referrals and transport and there are only 20% of clinics and 39% of health centres offering delivery services that provide basic emergency obstetric and newborn care. The main direct causes of maternal death are haemorrhages, infections, unsafe abortions, hypertensive disorders and obstructed labours. Most of these complications are preventable or treatable if pregnant women receive the healthcare they need, when they need it, by a skilled healthcare professional, many of which are not.
I am arranging my trip with Work the World, a reputable, safe and reliable organisation who have been conducting healthcare trips to developing countries for over a decade. They provide comprehensive pre-trip preparation, catered accommodation, airport pick up and will support me before, during and after my trip. I am trying to raise as much as possible to help me cover the cost as unfortunately working as a Student Midwife is unpaid. This will be a once in a lifetime experience for me which will be a huge eye-opener and reflect my practice once I become a qualified Midwife in September 2020! We are lucky to have our NHS and I hope to be able to share some of my clinical knowledge and experiences to other healthcare workers to ensure that mothers and their babies have safe, effective care and all women have a positive birth experience.
I would really appreciate any donations big or small to help me towards reaching my goal and making my journey on becoming a Midwife an even more educational and memorable one.
Thank you! x