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Posted by: Every Mother Counts   |   4/20/2011   |  

Superhero nurse midwife in Uganda

 
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Personal Tags: Uganda, White Ribbon Alliance, nurse, midwife

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Sr. Teddy Akulu, Uganda Sr. Teddy Akulu is a nurse midwife who works as the sole nurse midwife at the Bishop Asili Health Centre in Uganda, where her particular passion is improving the conditions for pregnant mothers and their babies. Bishop Asili Health Centre is one of the only medical facilities of its kind in the Luweero region, a rural area in Southern Uganda. Staffed by Catholic nuns Bishop Asili Health Centre provides the only healthcare for miles around and women travel great distances on foot, bicycle and motorcycle to reach the Centre, because it is the only facility in the region equipped to perform cesarean sections. The Centre also offers pre- and post-natal care to infants, and has a program for prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV.
Sr. Teddy delivers between 600 and 700 babies each year and many of the mothers are HIV positive. The health centre only sporadically has electricity, and cannot afford to run the donated diesel generator for more than a few hours a day. So, Sr. Teddy often delivers babies by the light of a single kerosene lantern.
Last year, while stitching up a mother who had torn during delivery in the dim light of the lantern, she pricked herself with the suture needle. The mother was HIV positive, and Sr. Teddy had to wait and be tested to find out whether she would now also be infected. Thankfully, she was not, but Sr. Teddy risks her own life regularly to save the lives of mothers and children in the Luweero region every day.
Story submitted by Mary Vanderhoof, Diocese of Trenton Global Solidarity Partnership, US
Superhero Health WorkersThis story is one of many submitted by members of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood ® (WRA) to celebrate health workers. Health workers save the lives of women and children every day, despite often facing difficult working conditions and inadequate resources. Health workers are vital for progress on global health and development and for ensuring the Millennium Development Goals are met. Yet, the world is short of more than 3.5 million health workers, including 1 million community health workers and 350,000 midwives.