In Sierra Leone, our experience working with the health systems is that great things are happening. However, if we don’t document these experiences, or analyze the data, we are in danger of losing the evidence, the proof. So, yes please do more research, but we need to translate that data into evidence - and then into action.
“We dey look for John Sanganme” - monitoring and evaluation officer for Health for All in Bonthe, John's record-keeping is saving the lives of Bonthe's mothers and babies.
A rare sight to applaud is of Omari Ali cradling one of his tiny twin sons strapped close to his body, at a health centre in Mwembeladu, Zanzibar. He eagerly followed advice of nurses who broke the news to him that his newly-born babies were severely underweight needed special care that he and his wife can provide.
For over a decade, taxi drivers from the Gomoa Ajumako Ayan Assiem District in Ghana’s central region have helped save the lives of mothers and babies. The region has come a long way since recording the highest rates of maternal mortality in the early 2000s, with not a single case documented since 2006. Taxi drivers have played a big part in this success story.
Professor Fred T. Sai is a towering Ghanaian figure in the global community of women’s sexual and reproductive health. He is an authority on health, nutrition, population and family planning, and has received more international honours for his work in support of women’s rights than he cares to mention in his autobiography.
Affectionately called “Auntie Midwife”, Dr. James Clayman is a Medical Superintendent and Obstetrician Gynaecologist whose passion for his job has endeared him to many Ghanaians. While working at the La General Hospital in 2006, Dr. Clayman decided to volunteer his services part time to the Amasaman Health Centre (which is now the Ga West Municipal Hospital): an institution which was severely afflicted by limited staff and many logistical constraints; and where maternal and newborn deaths were all to frequent.
In less than a year, Traditional Authority Kalonga of Salima has managed to reduce the number of annual maternal deaths in his area, from ten to two. He has done this through the establishment of by-laws and committees. The T/A has stopped Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) from conducting deliveries. Estimated facility deliveries are now over 90 percent. He has established committees who are also enforcing the by-laws set for all to deliver at facility.
Phoebe is a MamaYe Heroine. Posted to a rural community in Jigawa state she was faced with tough challenges. But, with courage and passion, Phoebe stepped up to the challenge. She gives her own blood to women in childbirth, and saves lives. Read her story.