Monday, 7 May 2012

Oxfam Birth Rights Exhibition

Friday saw the launch of Oxfam's Birth Rights Exhibition at Kings Hospital in South London. Now I spent a large proportion of my time after having Kit exchanging stories with other new mums about our children's births. I've even blogged my birth story here, and I love to slip in snippets to conversations to traumatise my friends who have not yet experienced the joy of childbirth. But however traumatic people may find my experience, I at least had trained professionals, working for free, and I was fortunate enough to even have the option of where to give birth. And, well, dying, I didn't even consider the possibility that I might. Why would I, thankfully only 1 in 4700 people die giving birth. In Ghana your odds are just 1 in 66.

Oxfam want to raise awareness of the issue and get the governments in Ghana and the UK to work to save women's lives.

'Selina Fletcher, 30, recently gave birth to her third child.
Though she’s illiterate, Selina knows that maternal health care in Ghana is free. So, when her contractions started, she and her best friend Sarah made their way to Korle Bu Hospital in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. But she came unprepared. In Ghana there are things you need to bring with you when you give birth, or otherwise you must pay for them. These include a bottle of disinfectant, a hair net and a blanket to cover the bed. To pay for these, Sarah left Selina at hospital, and returned to their village to ask her family for money. With the money secured, and with a nurse and midwife by her side, Selina gave birth to a little girl. She’s called Savina, after her grandmother. After the birth, mum and daughter rested for 24 hours in a ‘lying-in’ ward, and the midwife gave Selina advice on caring for her baby. Then, with friends and family at their side, Selina and Savina returned home – healthy and happy, having received free, professional care from trained health workers.'

Photos by: Abbie Trayler-Smith / Oxfam 

The exhibition is running for a week in the Golden Jubilee Wing, so if you are in the area please pop in to see all of the photos. And check out Oxfam's website to find out how you can help save women's lives in Ghana and beyond.

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