Monday, 15 September 2008

The midwife's tale

Rachel is a British nurse/midwife working in a specialist maternity hospital in Malawi. Sounds impressive, a specialist hospital. But in January they went days without water, in the midst of the rainy season. No water for drinking, no water for washing. No water for washing floors. No water for washing beds between patients. No water for washing linen. Because the operating theatres had to close, any emergencies had to be transferred to another hospital 4 km / 2 miles away, by ambulance if it was working.

Women and babies died.

Photo from Flickr/gbaku. Creative Commons licence.

Rachel worked in Spain before Malawi. She helped one couple through a heartbreaking stillbirth. "Loss of a child, loss of a dream, loss of a future with that little one. How to explain with no explanation." Yet this happens every day in that hospital in Malawi, there are explanations, and yet we read it as statistics. Just to be born in Malawi means you have a chance only if things go well and if you're in the right place.

They deserve better.

Rachel's blog Birthing a Dream
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