Every year, nearly 200,000 women die during childbirth in sub-Saharan Africa. These deaths are linked to the fact that women living in rural, nomadic or slum communities do not have access to basic reproductive and maternal health services. Over 80 percent of these deaths could have been prevented with the assistance of a midwife.
Amref Health Africa works to expand access to essential maternal and reproductive health services through our flagship campaign, Stand Up for African Mothers. We ensure that more African women can count on the assistance of a trained midwife during pregnancy and childbirth. We also promote reproductive rights and education to help women and their partners make informed choices about family planning.
Stand Up For African Mothers
Through the Stand Up for African Mothers campaign, we are working to train 15,000 midwives to reduce the high rate of maternal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Amref Health Africa uses diverse methods to train midwives including traditional classroom-based teaching, and innovative methods such as distance learning and mLearning, which allows midwives to study using basic mobile phone technology.
A skilled midwife can provide care and health education to 500 mothers annually. This means that, ultimately, over seven million African women each year will benefit from this campaign that aims to reach 13 African countries: Angola, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. Midwives can work in and across a wide range of settings. In low-resource settings like a rural village, a midwife can be the difference between life and death. Midwives ensure that women and their babies receive the essential care needed before, during and after childbirth. Learn more about the campaign
Midwives trained so far
Saving Mothers and Babies with the We Care Solar Suitcase®
In 2012, Amref Health Africa won the international Saving Lives at Birth competition for installing user-friendly, solar-powered devices, the We Care Solar Suitcases®, in 100 health facilities in Southwest Uganda.
Before installation of the We Care Solar Suitcases®, the health facilities often suffered from power outages, meaning many women were forced to deliver their baby in the dark, increasing her and her infant’s risk to infection and complications. The We Care Solar Suitcases® now provide a reliable source to power lights, charge computers, fetal heart monitors and other medical devices, as well as mobile phones for health workers to use for patient referrals.
We worked in partnership with We Care Solar®, the White Ribbon Alliance, and the Ugandan government to roll out the project. Funding was provided by the collaborating organizations of the Saving Lives at Birth competition: the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, the Government of Norway, and the Department for International Development (DFID) in the United Kingdom.
“I have dedicated my life to looking after the moms and babies in my community.”
Esther Madudu, Community midwife