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    A few simple tools for a mother’s first call…

    DAY 22

    Outfitting Midwives

    In Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement, thousands of new refugees arrive from South Sudan every single day. The result? All existing infrastructure that was in this rural area of northern Uganda is now filled to the brim with people urgently needing services. Everyday Ugandans, staff from organizations like ARC, and even the refugees themselves pitch in whenever possible, but sometimes places like the health center in Ariwa simply can’t take on any more patients.

    But this puts mothers who are expecting a baby in a tough spot – you can’t time a delivery in the middle of a new refugee settlement. Moms come to the health center in Ariwa at all times of day and night to deliver, and the beds are always full in the post-natal unit. That’s where our midwives come in.


    Midwives in any refugee settlement are faced with enormous challenges. Imagine it is only you and a pregnant woman who’s about to give birth. Would you know what to do? What if all the lights were off? What if it was the middle of the night? The midwives in the health center are delivering more babies than ever before, and in all kinds of circumstances. And every day they meet with new mothers to help them navigate their pregnancies and plan for new babies.

    So ARC staff decided to make Day 22 all about midwives – and getting them the tools they need to be safe and confidently do their jobs.


    “We just want to support them in some small way,” Deus Kiwanuka said. Deus is the GBV Technical Coordinator for the ARC team in Uganda. “They are the ones protecting pregnant women.”

    Probably the most challenging time for midwives is as night. So the ARC team put together kits that will help in some small way to make their jobs during the evenings just a little bit easier. In the kit, these heroes found gumboots to face the often muddy landscape, a solar lantern and a head lamp to guide their way, some extra scrubs, and a reflective vest to make them more visible to patients at night.



    When presented with the gifts, the midwives were all smiles. They may be small tools, but the kits go a long way in helping these brave women save and protect the lives of mothers and their children throughout Bidi Bidi.

    Tomorrow, we’ll go back to the post-natal ward at Ariwa health center as we think about supporting mothers after they deliver – and making sure they have all the things they need to feel comfortable and safe.

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