Natural Birth Herbs and Midwifery in Uganda
From time to time we get an opportunity to help out a really good cause, as was the case when we received an email from Emily Hill. Emily is a midwife from the UK who has left the comforts of home to go and work as a midwife in a birth centre in Northern Uganda.
Emily has been raising money via her 'Mobilise A Midwife' campaign to buy 30 bicycles (which the midwives will use to visit mums who live too far away to walk into the center) and 2 motorbike ambulances. She contacted us to see if we could provide her with Raspberry Leaf Tea and Nettle Tea which are in demand too as they are both excellent herbal teas for mums and mums-to-be.
Over the past few decades war has displaced millions of people in Uganda. As a result, Northern Uganda has one of the highest birth rates in the world, and also one of the highest perinatal mortality rates. Ugandan women have a 1/25 chance of dying in childbirth at some point during their lives. Emily and her bicycles will be working from Ot Nywal Me Kuc (literally, House of Birth and Peace) which is a solar powered birth clinic located in the village of Atiak, 20 miles from the border of Sudan and 50 miles from the nearest hospital. Ot Nywal Me Kuc is a government approved health center which is run by an NGO called Mother Health International. There they employ traditional and nurse midwives, provide training for student midwives and provide comprehensive, individualized, midwifery model of care services to internally displaced and recently resettled women and families.
One of the reasons Emily chose to work with Mother Health International is because after researching the organisation she felt that they were 'an organisation that ... struck the balance between making a difference and respecting the local culture and beliefs'.
Emily told us that she specifically wanted Raspberry leaf and Nettle because 'at the birth centre in North Uganda where I will be volunteering, we will see women of every stage of pregnancy and postnatal too. At the centre where the belief is to provide culturally sensitive sustainable care, using herbal medicine is promoted. Raspberry leaf tea has long been used as a medicinal herb. Raspberry leaf will be used for women visiting antenatal clinics and after having a baby. The Nettle tea is a great source of vitamins for mothers to be and new mothers'.
We couldn't agree more and are absolutely delighted to be able to support such a vital and worthwhile charity. As it says on the Mother Health International website ... 'With every healthy birth, there is a benefit for the world as a whole'.