Being a midwife is not just a job to 30-year-old Diogene, who works at a maternity ward that our teams built and equipped in Mahama Refugee Camp, Rwanda. Diogene calls it a vocation: “If you conduct and deliver and you hear the baby cry, you have delivered a person. “If you are monitoring the mother and you detect a problem and refer her for help, you feel proud.”
As he talks, he examines Oliva, one of more than 50,000 Burundian refugees who’ve fled across the border to escape escalating conflict and instability back home. “You can ask this mum what she feels like to be helped by a male midwife,” he laughs. Oliva explains she was a victim of the war in 1993, where her parents were tragically killed. Fearful that the violence would continue, she escaped the country with her children so that they didn’t experience the same horrors that she did.
“I’m very well and so is the baby… now I can’t stop feeling happy! It’s a boy,” says Oliva. Male midwifery is a growing trend in this part of Africa. In Diogene’s maternity ward, there are four female midwives and three males. “Even our teacher at the hospital was male,” he says.
Thanks to support like yours, we’re training lots more midwives across west Africa as part of our drive to dramatically reduce the number of child, newborn and maternal deaths.
If you would like to make even more projects like this possible, why not have a go at fundraising? Find out more here