Delivering babies in a war zone
Complex truth of pregnancy remains shrouded in taboos
April 21, 2017 09:36:32
Kalgoorlie’s Marg Crane with counterparts (L-R) Hilda, Johari, Chiku and newborn Ari Ducrou. (ABC Goldfields-Esperance: Jarrod Lucas)
Why do so many women feel guilty for getting epidurals?
“Here in Australia they give anti-pain and we don’t know why.”Kalgoorlie midwife Marg Crane, who took the Tanzanian trio under her wing during their visit, said Western societies want “a quick fix”. Tokophobia: The women too petrified to push Tokophobia causes a fear of childbirth so intense women may seek abortions, elective C-sections, or avoid pregnancy altogether. Reminder of ‘how lucky we are’The program provides experience for the midwives to return home as role models to train their colleagues. But here they are not allowed.”A significant difference between cultures is that Tanzanian mothers are not given the option of painkillers during labour.”In our country we don’t give anti-pain (medication) such as an epidural,” Ms Hamisi said.”If we have 12 to 20 women in labour they are very noisy … Ms Crane said their visit was also valuable to Australia’s health workers, adding that she has seen the “very highs and lows” during a career spanning 25 years.”I have not been involved in any maternal deaths and that would probably be the worst-case scenario that any midwife would see,” she said.”We do see women at the worst time of their lives when they lose a child, but we also see them on the happiest days of their life when they have a healthy baby.”Wherever you work in the world as a midwife that’s the most joyous thing that you can do — present that mum and family with a healthy child.”Places like Tanzania and other countries throughout the world don’t have the facilities we have, so we have to stand back and realise how lucky we are.” it depends on the season.”Last year we conducted 11,000 (deliveries at my hospital).”
WA Country Health Service Goldfields regional director Geraldine Ennis (far right) with the visiting midwives. “(It can be) up to 30 … The truth about pregnancy Pregnancy continues to be portrayed through rosy lenses, while the true, sometimes nightmarish side of it remains hidden away. Photo:
The visiting midwives from Tanzania on the maternity ward at Kalgoorlie Health Campus. too many to count,” she said. “The moment they brought her to our hospital she was very seriously ill and we tried our level best to save her life, but we couldn’t manage and she died.”It was so sad because life is precious.”Chiku Hamisi said Tanzanian midwives are given more responsibility due to a lack of doctors. One day I witnessed a mother who died from PPH (postpartum haemorrhage) — that is bleeding after delivery — I was so sad.”That happened because of shortage of staff.”When a mother starts to bleed you know that it is an emergency and nurses should work as a team to control that bleeding. “In our country two midwives can deliver 15 to 20 babies in an eight-hour shift. screaming in pain. (ABC Goldfields-Esperance: Jarrod Lucas)
“Lots of people who are having babies don’t want any pain so they ask for epidurals and we have the facility to offer that,” she said.”There are women who come in and they don’t want any pain relief at all, so we try to be guided here by the women to respect what they want and what their family want for their birth.”The Tanzanian midwives visited as contributors to Global Health Alliance Western Australia, a partnership which has provided professional development for nurses and midwives in Tanzania for the past six years.The Department of Health’s initiative is supported by the African nation’s Ministry for Health and sponsored by Rotary, including the Hannans, Kalgoorlie and Boulder clubs. About TanzaniaKnown for Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, as well as national parks filled with elephants, lions and zebrasBordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north; Rwanda, Burundi and DR Congo to the west; Zambia, Mowali and Mozambique to the south and the Indian Ocean to the eastPopulation estimated at 55 million people by the UN in 2015, more than double Australia’s populationPopulation growing on average 3.2 per cent per yearAverage life expectancy is 65.6 for females and 62.6 for men in Tanzania, nearly 20 years less than Australians can expect to live
“They (Australian midwives) are not as busy because I think the population is not as big compared to us,” she said.”I have had a lot of difficult cases. “Sometimes we don’t have the equipment, doctors, sometimes you have no doctors,” she said.”(Midwives in Australia) deliver and give the baby to the paediatrician to see what is going on.”During labour if there are any complications — to shorten the second stage of labour — we do vacuum extractions. The United Nations has called Africa’s population the fastest-growing on the planet, and it is not hard to see why.Three African midwives from the United Republic of Tanzania have just spent three weeks in Western Australia as part of a Department of Health study tour.Their trip included training in regional areas, including the Kalgoorlie Health Campus, where in a typical week midwives would welcome about a dozen newborns into the world.But that is child’s play for Tanzanian women Johari Kishegena, Hilda Kweka and Chiku Hamisi, whose combined experience as midwives nudges nearly 50 years.Ms Kishegena has been a midwife for 24 years and lost count years ago when the ABC asked how many deliveries she had been involved in.”Many, many … (ABC Goldfields-Esperance: Jarrod Lucas)
Midwives take the lead Hilda Kweka said she had noticed the vast differences in tempo on Australian maternity wards during her visit.