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News

University anaesthetists help dying mums in sub Saharan Africa

Cardiff University : 29 August, 2006  (Technical Article)
The plight of women dying during labour in sub Saharan Africa has motivated a Cardiff University Senior Lecturer in Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Medicine to found a charity for their cause.
The plight of women dying during labour in sub Saharan Africa has motivated a Cardiff University Senior Lecturer in Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Medicine to found a charity for their cause.

Dr Judith Hall has set up the Mothers of Benin charity to facilitate anaesthetists as the official maternal mortality figures in Benin is one in 50, although this is believed to be higher, as many women never make it to hospital.

'They donít have the infrastructure, they donít have the drugs, they donít have the anaesthetists,' said Dr Hall. 'There are nine anaesthetists in the whole of Benin, compared to 250 in Cardiff alone.

Dr Hall describes herself as having being Ďshockedí by a talk given to the World Congress of Anaesthesia in Paris 2004 about the high risk facing mothers when giving birth in sub Saharan Africa. In response she began to organise the first of several visits by anaesthetists to Benin, a former French colony on the western border of Nigeria.

Dr Hall continued, 'People in Benin are also trying to help themselves by setting up a training school, which will benefit not only them but the rest of Sub Saharan Africa as well.

'For us this is a long-term, sustainable commitment, we want to offer them education and knowledge for the future. The School of Medicine at Cardiff University has a lot to offer, and they think so too. We are good at training and teaching, itís what we do!'
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