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Delivering a brighter future for mums and bubs

24 June 2024, Impact of Our Work

Providing quality health care and hope in remote Rwanda 

At the end of another long and tiring shift in a remote medical centre in Rwanda, midwife Anne still sports a beaming smile. “I can’t stop (being a midwife),”  she says, “because I love mothers – caring for them makes me happy.” 

Anne has an easy laugh and a winning smile, and she’s generous with it, which makes her popular with staff and patients at the Save the Children run Mahama II Medical Centre where she works. But when asked why she became a midwife, her mood turns sombre. 

“I was 15 years old and in secondary school when I decided that I wanted to become a midwife,”  she explains. “Two of my family members lost their lives during childbirth. One was pregnant and the other died during childbirth. They were both my aunts…I was very sad, so I thought, ‘What can I do to save lives, to stop mothers losing their lives and their babies during childbirth? What can I study in order to save them?’” 

After years of dedicated study to attain her midwifery qualification, Anne started work at the district hospital. She still remembers the first baby she helped deliver. “I understood the theory of how it’s done…But me actually doing it seemed impossible.”  But deliver the baby she did. “I was like, ‘Wow! I can actually do it!’”, she exclaims.  
Many of the women Anne saw at the district hospital faced heightened risks because of the long walk they had to make to reach the hospital. This often resulted in complications that increased the risk of mortality for both mothers and babies. 

An upgraded clinic serving the local community

So when Save the Children upgraded facilities at the local clinic in Mahama, enabling staff to perform C-sections and blood transfusions there, Anne couldn’t wait to be part of the team. Anne loves how the clinic is serving the local community and is proud to be part of it. “I am very happy working with the mothers here…they really appreciate me,”  she says, “So even when the work is hard, I have good morale.”

Take a look at the short video below to see how by supporting Save the Children, you are supporting community medical centres and heroic midwives like Anne. 

Working at the clinic is tough, involves long hours, and time away from her own young family. “In a month, we normally have around 120 normal deliveries and around 30 or 40 caesarians,” says Anne. But since the new medical facility has opened and started doing C-sections, no mothers or babies have died. 

I have chosen to work with refugees because it is in my nature to work with vulnerable people.


The Mahama II Medical Centre also provides maternal health services to many women who have fled violence in their homes and arrive in Rwanda as refugees traumatised by their experiences. 

Claire* is one of the young mothers Anne has helped. “We treated Claire yesterday,”  she says, “Before we took her to the operating room, she had some complications, which led to her having a C-section. But when she saw her baby, she was very happy.”  For Anne, helping women like Claire makes all the hard work worthwhile. 

Midwife Anne checks in with Claire* and her daughter Aimé.*

Delivering the right to quality health care for all

Anne believes that access to quality health care is the right of all mothers and babies, and so she feels working with refugees is an integral part of her job as a midwife. 

She explains, “I have chosen to work with refugees because it is in my nature to work with vulnerable people…Every human being needs care, especially those vulnerable people – they need extra care, extra time, extra that they feel human again. I like to work with under-served people who are vulnerable and have lost hope, as I get the opportunity to give them hope that things will get better tomorrow. Not everyone gets that opportunity.”

*Names have been changed to protect identity. 

Photos: Save the Children.

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