Monday, July 22, 2024

Meet the Aussie midwives saving babies in Tanzania

Generations of new and expecting mothers in Tanzania are benefiting from the expertise of Melbourne’s leading private women’s health hospital, with four midwives from Frances Perry House spending a month helping patients and healthcare professionals in the African nation.

Midwives Christine Murphy, Eliza Strauss, Steph Tsesmetzis and Megan Whittle (pictured, below, top left) recently spent four weeks in in Arusha, Tanzania volunteering in a high-risk labour ward. 

“They are in immense and ongoing need of improved clinical skills and equipment to better support the wellbeing and health of woman and their babies during the birth process,” Megan said. 

“The morbidity and mortality rates are tragic.”

The qualified midwives met with dozens of patients, delivered babies and provided education to local doctors and nurses on neonatal resuscitation in a bid to improve outcomes for babies born in the region.

The team also donated a range of supplies and as obstetric ultrasound machine to a local labour ward, which they raised the money to purchase.

The midwives have a combined total of 89 years of experience nursing at Frances Perry House, working with some of the best in women’s healthcare providers in the country. 

“We wanted to use some of our knowledge and skills to assist in a severely understaffed and under resourced medical system. We realise how fortunate we are to work in a level 6 hospital,” Eliza said.

“We wanted to witness firsthand the obstetric challenges in a third world country and offer some education to see if we could make even a small difference to maternal and neonatal outcomes.”

The midwives volunteered their time for the trip, which was sponsored by Ramsay as part of it’s ‘Charity Challenge’ sponsorship program. 

“Thank you to Ramsay Health so much for supporting us on this life changing experience supporting woman and teaching midwives and doctors in Tanzania,” Megan said.  

“We feel privileged to have been sponsored and share many skills and knowledge and feel reassured we made a positive difference while there.”

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