Silsden midwife gets on her bike for African adventure

Keighley News: Midwife, Emily Hill, who is going to work in a hospital in Uganda Midwife, Emily Hill, who is going to work in a hospital in Uganda

A Silsden midwife will be swapping the lush Aire Valley for the dirt tracks of Uganda.

Emily Hill will spend three months working at a community birth house in Atiak, 20 miles from the South Sudan border.

Emily said: “One of the reasons I trained as a midwife was I knew it was a skill that could be used to help people all over the world.

“I spent nearly five years working in London, where I completed specialist courses before returning to Silsden in September 2012, to work as a community midwife.

“For the past couple of years I’ve been on the lookout for an organisation I thought struck the balance between making a difference and respecting the local culture and beliefs.

“I found Mother Health International and followed their wonderful work for about two years before applying for volunteer work.”

She added: “This is a self-funded trip – I’ve been saving for the past two years to go – and I will be taking extended leave from my work.”

Emily will work with Uganda’s ‘traditional’ midwives – usually local women with knowledge being passed on through female family members from generation to generation. Most are illiterate and have had little formal training.

And before she leaves in March, she wants to raise enough money to buy 30 bikes and has launched an appeal, entitled Mobilise A Midwife.

She added: “My current fundraising project is to buy 30 bikes for the midwives, allowing easier journeys between villages. Families will receive more frequent care.”

The bikes cost £40 each, and Emily is also hoping to buy other supplies, such as baby hats, a fetoscope (an instrument used to listen to a baby’s heartbeat), blood pressure devices, gloves and resuscitation equipment.

Visit twitter.com/mobilise-midwife or facebook.com/-mobiliseamidwife to help.

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