During 2015, we became aware of the challenging nature of life in Samre for expectant mothers. Many were giving birth in their own rural villages, often without support of any kind. The result was often protracted labour that resulted in death for the baby and mother. Those mothers who survived were often left with fistulas.
We in Australia sometimes forget what a wonderful and complete health system we have in this country, and how accessible it is for the vast majority of the population. In Ethiopia, that is simply not the case,
and without external help and support from charities such as ours, the fact is that many mothers are needlessly dying from preventable causes. We also learned that for over 150,000 people who live in Samre, there were only 5 health centres, and only 3 of those had maternal waiting rooms.
Maternal Waiting rooms are an important element in the safe birthing process, as they give the expectant woman somewhere to live and be monitored prior to giving birth. Further, they can be monitored and assisted by trained birthing attendants, and are in the
right place for further care should complications arise.
As part of our strategy to reduce maternal deaths, we decided to fund the building of the remaining two maternal waiting rooms, so
important to the local population.
This project, supervised by World Vision Ethiopia, cost $58,700, and was funded by the generous support of the Pharmacy Alliance network, Fullife Pharmacies, and generous private donors. During our November 2015 trip, we were able to commence this project by visiting both the Finarwa and Mariam Moko Health centres, and laying the foundation stones. The local communities came out in their hundreds to welcome us and celebrate a hug
e step forward for the health of local expectant mothers.
Our two Maternal Waiting rooms are now fully operational, and in February 2017 we visited Samre, Ethiopia to celebrate the opening of these important facilities. We recently funded the addition of another six beds, so each maternal waiting room will be able to accomodate ten women at any one time.
• Integrity • Care • Humility • Compassion • Collaboration