THE UNSTOPPABLE PASSIONATE AFRICAN MIDWIFE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST MATERNAL, FETAL AND NEONATAL MORTALITY

My name is ANN BEATRICE WAMBUI

Born at the slopes of Mt. Kenya around four decades ago is me- Ann. At a very tender age I knew I’d become a nurse one day. I recall as a small girl when my grandfather came home drunk and having bitten his lip badly. With all the courage i could gather, I took a blade and cut off  the bitten piece so perfectly as the nurse I was growing up to be. I started my formal education at Kiine Primary School, and later joined Kabare Girls High School for my A’ levels.Two years after high school, I joined Kenya Medical Training College and graduated in 2004 with the powers as a Kenya Registered Community Health Nurse. While in college, I fell in love with midwifery. For four years I worked with private hospitals and joined the government in 2009.

Ann Encouraging a mother with twin pregnancy

In 2012, I joined the University of Nairobi (UoN) and graduated with a bachelor of science in nursing in the year 2015. My love and passion awarded me three midwifery distinctions, from the UoN, the nursing council of Kenya and my training practical examination.

As a Practicing nurse/midwife for 13+ years, about 10 of these years, I have worked in the maternity unit. I  handle so many emergency cases, most of which could have been prevented way before delivery, Therefore,I am a witness of all the labour humor and dramas but the most unforgettable thing is the pain of losing a mother or an infant. The pain of giving birth to an unhealthy baby due to preventable causes is also unbearable. I can’t describe what it is to lose a mother or a wife. I have cried severally in the near miss incidences that I have handled. The one thing I learnt as i worked in maternity unit was that many complications and deaths do not necessarily occur due to the poor equipping of our facilities but due to great ignorance on safe pregnancy and labour among the women of reproductive age and sometimes bureaucracy in our place of work. I recall a time when I went to pick a doctor from her home at midnight because we were at the verge of losing two mothers. One of them had postpartum haemorrhage and the other had tried to deliver at home only to arrive at the hospital too late and with a ruptured uterus. The process of signing out the hospital vehicle to pick the doctor would have taken too long and every minute counted. We saved the two mothers and one baby. Since then, I made up my mind; to fight maternal and neonatal mortality.

I sincerely didn’t know how I was going to do it but all I knew was that I had to do something. The loss of a mother is very painful not only for the family, but also for the medical team. Pregnancy is so beautiful and no mother should lose her life while giving birth. This motivated me to think on the best way that I could use to educate the public and especially the mothers/girls of reproductive age. One evening just before doing an operation a doctor introduced me to an online wall he had created to create awareness on medical issues. I started writing obstetric blogs. Unfortunately I realized that most of those who read my work were medics and my friends.

As the saying goes; where there’s a will there’s away. During the same period, a vernacular television station (INOORO TV) started a medical program TV show. I approached them as a midwife for space on their segment,‘Ndagitari’ a programme aimed at educating the populace on various ailments. I had been following it for a while and I loved what they were doing. I thought one could use the platform to promote maternal, fetal and neonatal health.

They were a bit reluctant but after about six months of pushing them, I was finally invited to record one topic. I maximized the opportunity and discussed post-partum haemorrhage the best I could. It has been two years now and am still working with them.

In 2016, the Mission to The Body of Christ International started a television station. I thought maybe they needed more content and especially healthcare content. I wrote to them requesting for some airtime to run a medical program that would strictly discuss mother child issues. True to my suspicion they needed content and we later drew a contract. Golden minute show, which centre’s on mother and child issues in relation to pregnancy,was born and the first season ran from June 2017- June 2018. Currently am recording for season two. The most important thing is that I am able to choose on the topics to be discussed on my show according to their relevance and by qualified medical professionals. I also host the show.

Ann Reviewing a child at Merille Health Centre

 JOB SATSFACTION

I find so much satisfaction in my job. Labour can really be painful, I’ve witnessed a lot of madness in delivery rooms because of the severity of the pain. The look on a woman’s face after delivery and when she finally gets to hold her baby is priceless. When the woman is in labour, I’m in labour with her. She only knows the pain, but I know the dangers that could arise hence seeing a woman deliver safely gives me so much satisfaction. Receiving comments and questions from all over the nation also motivates me. At least I am doing something. Projecting Nursing profession positively also give me much satisfaction

Professional Profile

2010 – Date    

  • Practicing as nurse/midwife at the Embu level 5 Hospital.

2015

  • Graduating with Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Nairobi while I was still practicing as a midwife.

2016

  • Volunteered for six months as a midwifery lecturer at the Kenya Medical Training College Embu.
  • Writing obstetrics blogs through panafia.com/profile/AnnB
  • Hosted as a Midwife in the Inooro television ‘Ndagitari’ program among other medical practitioners up to date.

2017

  • Produced and hosted Golden minute Television show in partnership with Mission to the Body of Christ International television (PANG- MBCi Tv).
  • Created a YouTube link – Golden Minute Show. Where my medical television shows are uploaded after airing. The link is; https://youtu.be/VQsApLZjCsg
  • Recognized by the Parents Magazine in their 2017 September issue as a phenomenal woman of the month in promoting healthy pregnancy and safe delivery.

 

2018

  • Joined Jommo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology to pursue masters in reproductive health/midwifery while still practicing as a midwife.
  • Hosted to run a Maternal Health live radio show through Royal Media Services (Wimwaro radio) on every Wednesday morning for five months.
  • Represented my television program and participated in the Nursing Now campaign Launch that was graced by her Excellency the first lady Margaret Kenyatta.
  • Registering a non-governmental organization; Hearts for Mothers Africa to continue in the fight against maternal and neonatal Mortality in bigger way (waiting for the registration certificate from the NGOs bureau).

CHALLENGES

My biggest challenge is getting funds to run the show. The show does not generate revenue so wehave to dig deep for every resource. My production team and I move around as we highlight different topics. For instance, if we are talking about traditional childbirth, we go to remote areas because it’s more rampant in those areas, I believe that I can do better if I had enough funds.

FUTURE PLANS

I am currently looking for individuals/organizations to sponsor the TV programme.

In the next few years, I desire to be an ambassador for the mother and child. I want to be in a platform where I would be entrusted to go to remote areas to unearth what is happening to women and come up with workable solutions.

Lastly my greatest desire as a midwife, wife and a mother of two is to enlighten a mother who will enlighten another and we save more lives.

 I AM BECAUSE WE ARE.

 

 

 

leadnurseafrica

Lead Nurse Africa is a Pan-African nursing organization dedicated to public health promotion and professional development.

5 thoughts on “THE UNSTOPPABLE PASSIONATE AFRICAN MIDWIFE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST MATERNAL, FETAL AND NEONATAL MORTALITY

  1. No mother should die before, during or after delivery! Congratulations colleague,I wouldn’t have put the words of my love for midwifery better than you have done it

  2. I have known Anne Beatrice to be a hardworking nurse dedicated to the well being of the mothers and children.
    Maternal and child health is an area that still needs passionate and dedicated people like her especially in the sub-saharan Africa where Kenya is .
    Anne keep it up, mothers and children are counting on you.

  3. Thank you very much, as a nurse midwife I’m very happy of you. I wish you can use nationally accessible media platforms like those that do Swahili OR English.
    I’m a blogger too and I do much of Reproductive Health.

    1. Great.I recall an incident of my kin delivering a baby in a referral hospital,and she was our pillar.Mothers should be given a chance to look after there babies if possible and if avoidable.Thanx

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