MAMA was founded in 2017 by a team of three UK-based midwives (Rhi, Harriet and Sofia, pictured), to continue to support our Ugandan colleagues working at Azur Health Centre in Hoima. Rhi first travelled to Hoima in 2008, volunteering at Hoima Regional Referral Hospital with 2008, and in 2009 first developed a relationship with Azur Health Centre. In 2019 Alex, an Obstetrician, joined the board of trustees after travelling to Hoima with us.
Our focus is to empower and support the Ugandan midwives, clinical officers and doctors we work with, through collaboration, education and improved resources and facilities, leading to better maternal health care and enhancing midwives’ role satisfaction. At all times we aim to show understanding of the pressures which drive birthing choices in this setting, whilst always encouraging safety and promoting skilled birth attendance and health facility delivery.
The time spent with our Ugandan colleagues is either during our annual leave, unpaid leave or on occasion maternity leave, and we make several visits throughout the year. We are often joined on these trips by a range of volunteers.
Our Team – UK and Uganda
Rhi has been involved in Hoima maternity care since 2008 and is one of the three midwives behind MAMA. Having worked as a senior midwife in the admissions unit at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough until 2020, she is now working bank shifts in order to increase the flexibility she has to support all MAMA’s latest endeavours.
Rhi spends the majority of her annual leave in Hoima supporting MAMA volunteers and local midwives in their practice, all of which is driving change in maternity services in the Hoima District. She also spends time helping arrange fundraising, recruiting volunteers and generally raising awareness of what MAMA is.
MIDWIFE IN CHARGE
Barongo is the lead midwife for Azur Health Centre and MAMA’s Runga clinic, and in 2021 is also taking the role of the clinical Project Manager for the MAMA Grace Clinic in Kyarushesha. Barongo and Grace first devised the idea for outreach clinics in Runga, which later led to establishing a permanent clinic here, and with this came the start of MAMA. With his ideas and drive to improve maternity services we are now able to offer excellent antenatal, screening and safe deliveries to the women of Runga and surrounding villages. Barongo became a midwife in 2012 and completed his diploma in 2016 with some financial support from MAMA. He is married to Hope and they have two children – Joel and Loretta.
DIRECTOR, Azur Health Centre
Marion is now one of our senior midwives, having completed her diploma in 2019, which was in part funded by MAMA. After a period working at the MAMA Grace Clinic in Kyarushesha, she has now returned to work at Azur Health Centre. Here she is pictured in the antenatal room in Runga getting the clinic ready for the opening day! She is also a mother to a little boy.
Eunice started work as a midwife at Azur Health Centre in 2017. She now splits her time between Azur, Runga and Kyarushesha.
Harriet qualified as a midwife in 2008 and is passionate about women’s health care, advocacy and access to health care all over the world. She first volunteered in Uganda as a midwife in 2010 and since then she has visited and volunteered in Sierra Leone, Togo, Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo as a midwife holding maternity conferences. Harriet completed a Diploma in Tropical Nursing at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2015 and a Contraception and Sexual Health course at Kings University, and is now a clinical nurse specialist for contraception and sexual health.
PROJECT MANAGER, KMGC
Sofia is one of the three midwives who founded MAMA, and after being a Trustee since 2017, is now the UK Manager of our new Kyarushesha clinic, working in Hoima for two years, supporting local midwives in their practice. Sofia trained as a midwife in Greece and has been a midwife at Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, for the last 12 years; her most recent post as one of the Senior Sisters for labour ward.
Sofia is dedicated to ensuring women receive the best and safest care midwives are able to offer during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal period.
Josephine is now one of the senior midwives at Azur, having completed her diploma at Mengo School of Midwifery in Kampala in 2018, supported by MAMA. Josephine is a key member of staff on the Azur labour ward and in the high dependency unit, caring for sick mothers and babies from all our facilities. Josephine is married to Godfrey, with two little girls called Elizabeth and Tabitha.
Mable qualified as a midwife in June 2019 and worked as a volunteer for Azur from November the same year. In March 2020 Mable was employed by MAMA as a permanent midwife in our MAMA Grace clinic, Kyarushesha where she is part of a small professional team offering maternity services to surrounding villages.
Sylvia has been a midwife
Alex qualified as a doctor in 2009, and is now a post-CCT Subspecialty Fellow in Maternal and Fetal Medicine at the John Radcliffe Hospital (Oxford). She joined the MAMA team of trustees in May 2019, after first travelling to Hoima with us in 2018, whilst working with Rhi and Sofia at Wexham Park Hospital. Prior to this she had spent time as a medical student in Malawi during her elective.
Her areas of interest are labour ward management, maternal medicine and global health, in particular sustainable strategies to reduce maternal mortality. In 2017 she completed her doctoral thesis in Oxford, about the postnatal management of pre-eclampsia.
It was with great sadness that we announced the death of our Senior Midwife, Emvikia Grace, in December 2020. She is enormously missed by us all. Please click here to read her obituary in full.
Dinah has been a midwife since 2013 and is now one of the senior midwives at Azur Health Centre. Here she is pictured with the twins who delivered unexpectedly early on one of her shifts in Runga, at around 34 weeks’ gestation. Dinah is married with two children.
Doreen has been working as a junior midwife at Azur since 2017. After a spell in charge of our High Dependency Unit at Azur, she now alternates between working at Azur and our Kyarushesha clinic.
ADMINISTRATOR, Azur Health Centre
HOUSEKEEPER, MAMA Volunteer House
Lillian takes incredible care of the MAMA volunteer house and volunteers. She has also looked after women in our waiting homes and provided invaluable translation services for our mothers from Runga who often speak Alur. Lillian will also ensure our mothers have food and everything needed if they are not supported by an attendant.
Volunteers & Partners
In addition to the staff and midwives in Uganda we also rely on the invaluable team support of our volunteers and partners.