Life For African Mothers - IWD 2019

8th March 2019

Our Charity of the year – Life for African Mothers - #BalanceforBetter

International Women’s Day 2019 is set to take place on the 8th of March 2019 with the campaign theme - #BalanceforBetter. International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. We all need to recognise women’s achievements and to pave the way more a more just and inclusive society for girls and women. This includes women and children in all spheres of life.

One group of women who deserve to be celebrated this International Women’s Day are Life for African Mothers. We have decided to support Life for African Mothers as our charity of the year to show support and to raise awareness of all the excellent work that has been done and is continuing to get done by this charity. Did you know that 303,000 women die every year from pregnancy and childbirth complications in Sub-Saharan Africa? And that 99% of these deaths are avoidable with the right medical care and resources?

Life for African Mothers was founded in 2006 by Angela Goman, a midwife from Cardiff, UK who, in 2005, watched the BBC Panorama documentary ‘Dead Mums Don’t Cry’ featuring one woman’s fight to stop women dying in childbirth in Chad. Utterly inspired by Dr Grace Kodindo, Angela set up Life for African Mothers (LfAM). Angela has been a nurse in the University Hospital of Wales for 30 years and puts her heart and soul into improving maternal health. Once founded, LfAM grew very quickly gaining support and momentum from the Welsh Assembly, Unison and the United Nations and they now operate in 7 Sub-Saharan countries; Liberia, Sierra Leone, The Congo, Somaliland, Cameroon, Malawi and Chad.

Saving a woman’s life costs less than the price of a postage stamp. Around 180,000 women die every year from eclampsia (seizures). A drug called Magnesium Sulphate will, with 3-5 doses alleviate this situation. Each dose costs £1. £5 can save the life of a mother and her baby. Post-partum haemorrhage is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality in Africa. Misoprostol is used to stop bleeding. Each dose costs just 15p, three doses are required to stop the bleeding. It costs 45p to stop a woman from bleeding to death. The charity began their focus on Maternal Health ensuring that the right medications were available in the hospitals, but it became apparent that midwifery training was also required. LfAM now facilitates training programmes run by volunteer Midwives in the UK and are also supported by Medical Students.

LfAM have one simple vision – No woman should die giving birth. Their goal is for charity intervention to not be needed and that countries in Sub-Saharan Africa can stand independently.

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