A midwife and nurse from Rwanda will be sharing their experiences with Edge Hill University about their country’s efforts to address maternal and child needs.

To celebrate the International Day of the Midwife on 5th May the University has invited over two guest speakers to demonstrate how they are trying to overcome the challenges they face within their healthcare system.

With some of the world’s worst indicators for maternal and child mortality, Rwanda is working hard to ensure mothers and their children have access to life-saving medical interventions. Skilled help has been shown to be the biggest factor that reduces maternal and infant mortality and morbidity.

Robinah Mbabazi is a midwife at the Shyira Maternity Hospital and her training was sponsored by Jane Morgan via the Shyira Trust charity. Last year was the first year that their maternity hospital had no maternal deaths, a huge achievement which she will be discussing with Edge Hill’s staff, students and local community. She will be joined by Emmanuel Nzabonimpa, a nurse at Shyira Maternity Hospital.

Jane Morgan, Head of Midwifery at Edge Hill University, said: “It is very important for midwives to understand the challenges faced by other countries in addressing maternal and child morbidity and mortality. There has been some remarkable progress at Shyira Maternity Hospital and indeed the country has recorded major successes in its maternal and child health programme. However, Rwanda still faces major hurdles in its effort to achieve universal access to healthcare for all mothers and children. While it has increased the number of hospital births, many Rwandan women still give birth at home or in health centres, without the assistance of trained midwives, which is something they want to address.

“This event is an excellent opportunity to find out more about these issues from such inspirational health professionals who can talk about their own personal experiences. The day will also address the Millennium Development Goals, which provide a framework for the entire United Nations System to work together towards a common goal. They are the most broadly-supported, comprehensive, and specific poverty reduction targets the world has ever established.”

The day celebrates the crucial role of the midwife and is aimed at anyone with an interest in women’s health, from the general public to professionals.

It is free to attend the event, from 1pm to 3.30pm at the Faculty of Health building on the Ormskirk campus. To book your place, please telephone 01695 650715 or emailIDOM@edgehill.ac.uk.

To coincide with the event, a poster exhibition will also be featured in the Faculty of Health foyer from 4th to 6th May. It showcases the work of students, clinicians and health organisations whose planned ventures or past achievements have addressed international maternal and child health issues.