For Esther Madudu, 34, midwifery has been part of her life since her childhood when she used to watch as her grandmother helped women to deliver babies. But unlike her grandmother who was a traditional birth attendant, Esther studied midwifery as a career and is currently working at Tiriri Health Centre in the rural Siroti District, Uganda.
She, however, says trained midwives especially those working in rural areas are faced with numerous challenges just like traditional birth attendants. Esther’s station has only three midwives and she has to work for 13 hours most days and attend to up to five births every day.
at the health centre are scarce. We have no electricity, which makes delivering babies at night a real challenge. We often use candles, kerosene lamps and even light from our cell phones to see the baby coming out or to stop the mother’s bleeding. There is also no tap water, making child delivery an unsterilised procedure,” she says.
But despite these difficulties Esther’s passion for midwifery cannot let her give up. She enjoys being a special part of mothers’ lives, seeing them through happy and sad times.
Esther is currently spearheading an international campaign to highlight the plights of mothers and babies in Africa. The campaign dubbed “Stand Up For African Mother,” is an initiative by Amref Health Africa to ensure a reduction in high maternal mortality rates.
The organisation is supporting Esther’s nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015 as a representation of all African midwives who work hard every day to save the lives of mothers and children.