The baby in the picture is tiny and you would guess that she was a new born. She is not, she is 18 months old but malnutrition has taken its toll. There is a chance she will die. Our midwives and health workers, plus the addition of our nutritional goat's milk, can help. We train village girls to become community midwives in our training school. They leave their villages and travel to the city for a 10 month training course. When they return they help new mothers in their own villages.
The average age of women in the villages is only 34 years due to the high rates of maternal mortality. One of the greatest problems is the lack of trained midwives. The only help available to women in childbirth is from traditional birth attendants who have had no training even in basic hygiene. With female genital mutilation widespread, obstruction often prevents natural birth and women in advanced stages of labour have to make the difficult journey to hospital putting mother and baby at risk.
10 village midwives will be trained in basic hygiene, ante and post-natal care, infant care, immunisation and nutrition for 1 year. In recent years, the mobile network in the Sudan has improved. All of our midwives now receive a mobile telephone, a strong cross-bred donkey for reaching mothers quickly in an emergency, a Solar Lantern for night deliveries and a pair of leather sandals to protect their feet from the burning sand.
Deaths of mothers in childbirth reduced through modern birth techniques, early referral of problem cases and better spacing of births. Infants and young children will be healthier, better nourished and immunised against killer diseases. In an emergency, women will be quickly transported to hospital in the capital.
This project has provided additional documentation in a Microsoft Word file (projdoc.doc).