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Posted by: Cindy West   |   5/1/2011   |   Missouri

Maasai Womens Health Intitative in the East Rift Valley

I read about your project every mother counts and wanted to tell you about a couple in Kenya who live beside the Maasai that are making a difference in their local community. Katy & Philip Leakey created a Fair Trade Company out of a need to save lives several years ago. One of the things Katy has organized every year is a Women's Health Initiative(WHI).

She started the Women’s Health Initiative because so many women were losing their lives during child birth, many deaths due to complications that could have been avoided with: good nutrition, proper mid-wife knowledge, and proper medical help nearby.

Before Katy started the WHI, they were losing almost one woman a month to child birth related issues. Now 3 years later they haven’t lost one womman in 1.5 years.

With proper nutrition available women are stronger. One of the myths believed by many Maasai women in the bush is that if they eat during the last 6 months of their pregnancy the baby will grow so large that the mothers will have a good chance of dying during delivery from blood loss. This causes the women to be terribly anemic and the babies to suffer from a wide variety of malnutrition problems throughout their lives. By dispelling this one myth alone many women have been saved.

By enhancing the local midwife skills with modern medical knowledge the midwives are better able to manage breach and problematic births. By training the women how to determine if an impending birth may be a problem they can then get to medical help long before the delivery takes place thus dramatically increasing their chances for a happy outcome.

The Leakey's have always been at the forefront of solving problems within the Maasai community they live next to. Philip and Katy Leakey are highly respected by the tribesmen in the local villages.

I am proud to assist them with building that bridge of understanding between cultures and highly admire them for the work they do.

Here is a link to their blogpost about the initiative. http://www.leakeycollection.com/blog/blog/781-women%E2%80%99s-health-initiative-%E2%80%93-massai-women-enjoy-laughter-and-learn-mid-wife-skills.html


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Personal Tags: Katy Leakey, Maasai women, health initiative, Leakey Collection