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Jersey midwives help their African counterparts

30 April 2010

Midwives working in developing countries are to be given a boost through profits raised from a plant and cake sale organised by Jersey midwives.

An annual plant and cake stall is run in the hospital foyer on the 5th May to celebrate the international day of the midwife. The stall will be visited by the Lieutenant Governor, Andrew Ridgway, and Valerie Ridgway, with cakes from Government House.

The International Day of the Midwife began in the late 1980s and recognises the importance of the role which midwives play. This year’s theme is educating midwives about the dangers of obstetric fistulas, which can happen if complications arise during childbirth. Women being injured or disabled through poor child birthing techniques is an issue in developing countries, where midwives may not be educated, or where there is a lack of midwives.

Speaking about the day, head of midwifery Elaine Torrance said “There are a disproportionate number of these cases where there is poverty, poor education, and a lack of emergency obstetric services.

“This year it is hoped that the money raised will be put towards providing African midwives with a subscription to a publication called the African Journal of Midwifery, to give them access to the latest information so long-term health issues resulting from childbirth can be avoided.

“The stall has become an annual fixture at the Hospital over the past few years, and is popular with staff and Islanders. Last year, it raised around £350.

“The profits are always given to projects run by midwives in developing countries, and this year they will be shared as the Maternity Unit are raising funds for four local midwives to attend an international conference on midwifery in June 2011.

"We hope people will want to donate, and if they wish to they can leave produce with Catherine Pipon, secretary to the maternity Unit from the 4th of May. Our own staff also bakes cakes for the stall and we are always overwhelmed by how generous people are.

“We hope that as well as generating money for a worthwhile project, people will also take a minute to think about the work which midwives do everyday."

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