Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. You can view past posts from the series here.
The following article was written by Elizabeth Atalay of Documama
It’s a stark statement that Dr. Sophia Webster considers it safer to fly her own Cessna across sub-Saharan Africa than to be a mother giving birth there. When you hear the statistics one does not need the ten years experience that she has as an Obstetrician in the UK to know she is probably right. One in twenty expecting mothers in sub-Saharan Africa are at risk of death during childbirth. According to her recent BBC interview, she believes that many of these deaths are easily preventable.
“In the developing world many many women are dying every year from very preventable pregnancy problems such as massive bleeding at the time of delivery, and I want to bring attention to obstetrics as a global issue, and to get people to think outside the box a little bit.”- Dr. Sophia Webster BBC Radio interview
This week Dr. Webster loaded up her airplane and launched her Flight For Every Mother campaign. She will be arriving in Africa on August 5 in the city of Rabat, Morocco. From there she will be traveling to 26 countries throughout Africa over the course of 5 months to deliver medical supplies for expecting mothers. She will be teaching health care workers at each of the stops, as well as delivering medical care to those in need.
I learned about the Flight For Every Mother Campaign through a local company, Maternova Research, a Rhode Island, USA based company that provides innovative, low tech, low cost life saving medical solutions for maternal and neonatal health. They have partnered with Flight for Every Mother to help supply some of the medical devices Dr. Webster will need along the way, and some new ones to test out. Maternova states that this campaign “is about as direct & lightweight of an investment in women as it can get!”
One of Maternova’s most impressive cutting edge, low cost innovations is the Non-Pneumatic Anti-Shock Garment. Referred to as the NASG, the garment is a constrictive life saving cocoon that buys women hours of time to get to medical care when hemorrhaging after giving birth. Many women in sub-Saharan Africa deliver far from any health-care facilities, so if they do hemorrhage many will die before reaching or getting any treatment. The NASG can help to keep women alive until they can get the treatment they need.
To help supply the equipment that Dr. Webster will need along the way, you can be part of this amazing campaign for maternal health without even having to fly your own small plane across a continent. Join in and help out simply by visiting the Catapult crowdfunding page to make a donation and help the women Dr. Webster will visit get the medical supplies they so need. You can also follow the journey of Dr. Sophia Webster through her blog about the trip, on Facebook, and on Twitter .
Elizabeth Atalay grew up on the East Coast of The U.S.A. Before becoming a mother to her four kids, she spent over two and a half years collectively backpacking around the world to more than 50 countries throughout Africa, Asia, South America, South East Asia, the Middle East, and Europe in pursuit of her passion for Anthropology, ethnographic film and photography. Since turning 40 she has completed 6 sprint triathlons. Elizabeth is the Editor of Documama, a Shot@Life Champion, ONEMoms Community Partner and Social Good advocate as a member of The Global Team of 200. Read more on Documama