What do you have when you bring together a master trainer, a MamaNatalie, 13 midwives and the First Lady of Zambia?
A dedicated group of frontline health workers engaged in strengthening their skills in emergency obstetric and newborn care under the stewardship of Jhpiego alumnae, nurse midwife Rhoda Amafumba and expert mentor Dr. Christine Kaseba!
For six days, these health care providers worked on their skills as part of an outreach in the southern part of Zambia sponsored by UBUTULA BWABUMI or Haven of Health, an organization supported by Dr. Kaseba.
“The First Lady demonstrated vacuum extraction using MamaNatalie and baby [Neo] Natalie . . . ,” Amafumba writes, referring to the birthing and newborn resuscitation simulators they use in trainings. “This week, I am in the northern part of the country with the American College of Nurse-Midwives in a project to upgrade skills labs by providing models and equipment to midwifery schools.”
Such efforts are aimed at increasing the number of women in Zambia who will give birth at a health facility with skilled, appropriate care, a leading factor in surviving childbirth and reducing maternal deaths.
Amafumba, who successfully completed Jhpiego’s master trainer pathway, is also one of 30 mid-career professionals in Africa who are working with the U.S. Agency for International Development’s global Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP), which is led by Jhpiego. They have been named MCHIP Maternal and Newborn Health Champions for their tireless efforts to improve health services for mothers and babies.
“Sometimes I see the light at the end of the tunnel like when (I see) mothers who have walked many kilometers to come and wait for labor at the mother’s shelter . . . ,” Amafumba continues, “and sometimes the light fades, when I have to get out of the vehicle in order to cross a river that has no bridge and is impassable during the rainy season.”
What a gift to be working with such dedicated health professionals!