Dareda Hospital, Mbulu, Tanzania
Dareda is a small town approximately 190 km south west of Arusha, Tanzania.
The hospital was first established as a ‘dispensary’ (the lowest level of health care provision in Tanzania) in 1947 by the Catholic Church. Over time it developed into a hospital and three years ago received the status of a District Designated Hospital (DDH), which allows it to receive government funding.
There is also a Nursing School within the hospital compound with some 200 nursing students on site at any one time, who rotate through the obstetric department. Our dedicated volunteer midwife team supports the professional development of midwives and students by offering advice and training.
Mille, Afar, Ethiopia
The Afar region covers much of the Danakil desert and is home to the proud, nomadic Afar tribal group. However, it is also is the least developed part of Ethiopia and has, until recently, been largely neglected by international development organisations.
The Afar Pastoral Development Association (APDA) was founded in the late 1980’s by the husband and wife team, Valerie Browning and Ishmael Ali Garde, to promote development in the region. It has since grown to employ 750 local Afar people who serve as literacy and health workers. This includes tasks such as providing emergency relief, leading immunisation campaigns, building key infrastructure such as roads, dams and water catchment systems, providing veterinary services to a predominantly agricultural community and HIV prevention.
There are approximately 2.2 million Afar people, of these 68% receive APDA services. Thirst, hunger, crippling disease and premature death are daily facts of life in this harsh terrain. Access to these services can mean the difference between life and death.
In 2010, ADPA and Maternity Africa joined forces to open a Maternity unit at Mille which has been providing an emergency obstetric care service ever since. Frequent emergencies including eclampsia, ruptured uterus, hemorrhage, obstructed labour, foetal distress, ectopic pregnancies and miscarriage.
The centre consists of a main ward with 18 beds and 3 cots. In addition to providing critical aid to local Afar women, the partnership aims to build capacity and sustainable solutions by training local doctors and midwives.
Aberdeen Women’s Centre – Freetown, Sierra Leone
The Aberdeen Women’s Centre is a self-contained facility offering free fistula surgery and rehabilitation. There are also maternity services, including emergency obstetric care. The centre is supported by The Gloag Foundation, Freedom From Fistula.
Vision Maternity Care Centre, Barhirdar, Amhara, Ethiopia
Barhirdar is a city in north-western Ethiopia and is the capital of the Amhara Region.
Maternity Africa – or Vision Maternity Care (VMC), as it is known in Ethiopia – has developed a simple but effective network of maternal health care providers, which provides free obstetric services to women from the country’s poorest communities. The VMC Centre commenced operations in November 2012 and has since been providing ante-natal and post-natal care, HIV screening, family planning services and delivering babies for thousands of women. The centre has 12 ward beds, 2 delivery beds and an operating theatre. It is also a training centre for student midwives and health extension workers, as well as offering a supervisory service to eight other nearby health centres.
With the support of the Barbara May Foundation we are in the final stages of building a new 22 bed maternity hospital on site.
To support the development of these networks and ensure local staff are adequately trained, Maternity Africa places experienced obstetrician and midwife teams into these networks to provide a service in areas that currently have none. By training local health professionals, we also aim to create the necessary infrastructure and knowledge to ensure long-term sustainability.
Selian Lutheran Hospital, Arusha, Tanzania
Arusha lies in the shadow of Mount Meru on the edge of the Great Rift Valley in Northern Tanzania. It has one of the fastest growing and densest urban populations in the country, leading to significant socio-economic challenges – the current population for the district stands at over 700,000 people, with the majority concentrated in the city itself.
Selian Lutheran started as a mission hospital and was transferred to the Tanzanian government in 2008. Situated 12km outside of Arusha, its 160 beds help to service the predominantly Masaai population surrounding the town.
Here, Maternity Africa operates on fistula patients for free. Many of them hear about the service from the outreach team that travel through the rural hinterland, spreading the word about the causes of obstetric fistula and offering treatment to thousands of suffering women.
In 2013, Maternity Africa began capacity building within the obstetric unit at Selian, offering on-going training and support to midwives, obstetricians and junior doctors. The unit currently has four delivery beds, 12 antenatal beds and 16 postnatal beds.
Fistula Care Centre, Bwaila Malawi
This is a 30 bed fistula centre, providing treatment and rehabilitation for Malawian women with support from the Freedom from Fistula Foundation. The centre also trains local people to become proficient nurses, midwives, doctors and surgeons. Maternity Africa has provided fistula treatment and surgical training.
Kitovu Catholic Mission Hospital, Uganda
Kitovu is a busy Catholic mission hospital three hours south-west of Kampala, near the shores of Lake Victoria. Maternity Africa provides bi-annual fistula treatment and surgical training, as well as some fund raising support, logistical assistance and equipment donations.
Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya
This photo shows a dedicated fistula unit at Nairobi’s largest hospital. It is here that surgeons and nurses can receive excellent training in the treatment of fistula. This is also the site of regular fistula ‘camps’, supported by the Fistula Foundation and AMREF. Maternity Africa supports by offering fistula treatment and surgical training during the yearly camps, plus additional irregular assistance when needed.
CCBRT, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services in Uganda, Kitubi, Uganda
Maternity Africa helped establish a network for funding and providing fistula surgery and training services for CoRSU hospital in 2015. The hospital now runs 4 camps a year which Maternity Africa provides the fistula surgery service for 2 of those four camps. Each camp treats over 50 women suffering from fistula.