Lives Cut Short Without Health Care Workers

VIDEO: Almost 90 percent of women in the developing world use midwifes.

Angela Nguku a midwife and coordinator for AMREF takes the Million Moms Challenge.

If nothing changes, one billion people worldwide will live their lives without ever setting eyes on a health care professional. No doctors. No nurses. No midwives. No hospitals. No supplies.

Angela Nguku a midwife and coordinator for AMREF, an Kenya-based organization that promotes health care for all, is trying to solve the problem with an innovative new e-learning program that trains health care workers.

“In developing countries, in East Africa and Kenya, my country, we have very few doctors and midwives,” said Nguku, who also emphasized the need for nurses and community health workers.  In Kenya, for example, one doctor serves every 30,000 people. The ratio in the U.S. 1 to 300.

Nguku’s work  is motivated by her own experiences trying to help women in labor. As a midwife working  in a Southern Sudan health facility with limited resources and not enough access to doctors and other highly trained medical professionals, she saw more than her fair share of tragedy.

“We didn’t have the lights to be able to operate,” she said, recalling one case of a patient she could not save.

“I had nothing I could be able to do,” Nguku said.  With no doctor and no ambulance available to send the patient to a higher level hospital, the woman was dead by morning.

“She died of obstructed labor, she died with the fetus still in her womb,” Nguko said, in an interview with ABC News.

“That is what drives me to keep on speaking for the voiceless midwives and women out there in developing countries, to ask people across the globe to do something to help save those lives,” she said.

“I believe they can be saved.”

Click here to help save moms and babies in the developing world.

According to a report released last week by Save the Children, health care workers are the key to improving the health of children, mothers and the whole family, and improving their life expectancy.

AMREF’s e-learning program for health care workers was so successful in Kenya they are setting up similar programs in Uganda, Zambia, Swaziland and Lesotho. Help AMREF improve the lives of 500,000 women here.





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