Our aim is to support innovative locally lead healthcare programmes which address HIV in the context of maternal and infant mortality. The current focus of our work is in Lilongwe the capital of Malawi.
In 2009, The Rose Project funded the new Bwaila Maternity Hospital. This hospital replaced a shed like structure which was built in 1939 - as a temporary structure to manage 4,000 annual births! Prior to its closure, the hospital was managing 11,000 annual births-
The new Bwaila Maternity hospital (the busiest maternity hospital in Malawi) is responsible for 15,000 births each year . Whilst there is an acute shortage of skilled healthcare workers in Malawi the situation has improved over the last five years. This is due to the increase in intake of medical and nursing students to the university -the results are already visible at Bwaila Maternity Hospital where for the first time since the hospital opened, there are enough midwives in the Labour Ward. When the new hospital opened there was no resident obstetrician - however there are now two. This is making a substantial difference to clinical care for patients.
Malawi has the highest incidence of maternal mortality for a non conflict country. Many women have just one antenatal visit which results in a high level of complications when patients present for delivery. In addition the incidence of HIV amongst the women attending the hospital is high leading which also contributes to an increased level of complications.
Mother to child HIV transmission during pregnancy is the second most common form of HIV transmission in Malawi and accounts for 30,000 babies being born HIV with the virus each year. With treatment this is preventable. Prevention of mother to child HIV transmission in pregnancy, is central to the care provided at Bwaila Maternity Hospital.
A number of international organisations have joined forces with The Rose Project in the past 4 years in an effort to improve maternal and infant care at the hospital. These include Freedom from Fistula Foundation Scotland , the University of North Carolina, and Haukeland University Hospital Norway. These organisations in partnership with the District Health Officer are presently implementing a number of training programmes for midwives and it is envisaged that a residency programme for medical graduates in the specialty of obstetrics will begin shortly at the hospital.
The Rose Project continues to fund Rachel Macleod, senior midwife manager who works in the labour ward at the hospital.
The photographs of the Labour Ward below have been taken with the patients permission
In 2010 Freedom from Fistula Foundation (Scotland )opened a fistula unit at Bwaila Maternity Hospital. Obstetric fistula is a serious problem in the world's poorest countries, where most mothers give birth without any medical help The condition leads to social stigma leaving many women ostracised by their families. To date 400 women have had fistula repair transforming their lives.
Rose Atieno was a young Kenyan who Mary Donohoe had the privilege to meet on her first trip to Nakuru, Kenya in 2003
Health workers heading out to the rural clinics on motorbikes provided by The Rose Project. Read More....