Sat. Jul 20th, 2024
Esther Madudu receives a REAL Award in Uganda
Esther Madudu receives a REAL Award in Uganda– Ugandan Minister of Health, the Hon. Dr. Christine Ondoa, Esther Madudu, AMREF Health Africa’s Country Director in Uganda, Dr. Abenet Berhanu, Uganda’s Deputy Minister of Health Photo courtesy Denis Kayiwa/Amref Health Africa

Bringing life into the world isn’t always an easy task, but midwife Esther Madudu makes it look easy even in the dark.

Madudu has traveled the world because of her extraordinary skills at being a midwife in Uganda, raising awareness about safe births and lowering mortality rates in both children and mothers in Uganda. Besides her expertise in the field she’s known for using her cell phone as a light while delivering babies in rural Uganda where light can be an issue at night.

The first time she delivered a baby holding a cellular phone in her mouth was while delivering twins. The wind blew out the light from the candle and the second baby was tangled in the umbilical cord around its neck and feet.

“I was pulling the baby not knowing that the cord had tied around its neck so the cord was pushing him back,” said Madudu. “I looked around and had a candle, and then the wind blew it out in which I got scared.”

Having to make a quick decision so that the child wouldn’t die she had to cut the mother open, needing her hands free to deliver the baby she held the phone in her mouth as the light allowed her to see what she was doing.  Both of the babies and mother survived.

“I had to put the phone in my mouth and struggled with the delivery. I cut the cord then delivered the baby,” said Madudu explaining how she managed to have a successful delivery using a cell phone as a light.

Afterwards, her colleagues used the technique because they were all facing the same issue with light. Luckily, now light, along with other very useful tools to perform safe deliveries, is included in the solar suitcase provided by the government.

Esther never would’ve thought following in her grandmother’s footsteps as a midwife would take her around the world and cause her to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Esther Madudu with Ladies at Tiriri HCIV Katineb
Photo courtesy Steve Murigi/Amref Health Africa

She was in disbelief initially when told the news about her nomination and even then didn’t let emotions overcome her.

“I didn’t accept it. You know when you aren’t expecting something it ishard to accept it,” said Madudu.

After being flown to Paris for a woman’s conference where AMREF launch the Stand Up for African Mothers campaign and Madudu spoke about maternal mortality she became excited realizing she was well received by the French audience.

“I became excited after I gave the speech because after the speech they stood up and clapped showing me that my speech was good and they understood,” said Mad-udu.

Even with all the accolades she still remains humble and passionate about being a midwife and spreading awareness ab-out bringing the mortality rate down in pregnant women in rural Africa. She explains that deaths of pregnant women or children in rural Uganda are due to infrastructure.

“The challenges in the rural areas are due to poor infrastructure and roads, long distances, lack of drugs and supplies, and you know of course water is life, if there is no water that is not good because you can really infect yourself,” said Madudu.

Being unable to reach mothers in labor in time of delivery because of poor roads shouldn’t be an issue, nor should the lack of clean water. Lowering maternal mortality is about a bigger picture for communities in Africa.

“Maternal health is important, healthy mothers lead to healthy communities,” said Madudu.

Below is a photo gallery of her trip to around the U.S. (photos courtesy of AMREF)


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