Mater midwives bring healthcare and hope to Nepal

Mater midwives bring healthcare and hope to Nepal

A group of eight dedicated midwives and nurses from Mater Mothers’ Hospital in South Brisbane are gearing up for a once-in-a-lifetime volunteer opportunity in Nepal providing care to women and children with limited access to healthcare.

Leading the group is Mater Mothers’ Hospital Clinical Midwife and Nurse Kerrie Bull who has worked at the South Brisbane facility for more than three decades - the busiest maternity unit in Australia - delivering more than 10,000 babies a year.

The 60-year-old said she was passionate about sharing her knowledge and skills with health professionals working in one of the world’s poorest countries during the volunteer mission with fellow Mater midwives and nurses Mackenzie Hartnett, Alexandra Mack, Emilie Morival-Gaier, Siena Morisini and Gracie Heme, Olivia O’Beirne, and Gabriela Lacey.

Shining a spotlight on International Day of the Midwife (5 May), Ms Bull who works in the high-risk antenatal and women’s health unit at Mater Mothers’ Hospital, is part of a team of hundreds of midwives at South Brisbane and is ready for an “eye-opening experience” in Nepal.

The team will work alongside Nepalese midwives providing labour support, including maternal and fetal monitoring, helping to deliver babies and provide post-natal care.

Ms Bull said the leading cause of neonatal deaths in Nepal included sepsis and preterm birth.

“Being able to assist Nepalese women in remote communities who might not have access to essential healthcare services, but that is their way of life,” Ms Bull said.

“We are all enthusiastic to learn new ways of doing things in a culture and country so different from ours, and I am honoured to be a part of this experience with these young women.”

During the three-week trip, the group will spend time in Kathmandu with Nurses in Action and visit several World Youth International projects, including a local school.

They will travel to Pokhara on the shores of lake Phewa for 12 days, working at the Western Regional Hospital in the wards, as well as some optional nursing placements in the community.

“Then we are off to the Nepalese highlands for five days staying in a remote highland village, where we will participate in health training and education, as well as assisting in a health camp that may care for up to 200 people in the one day,” Ms Bull said.

Ms Bull said volunteering overseas was something she had wanted to do since she began nursing 44 years ago.

“I hope to be able to share my knowledge, skills, and passion for healthcare with the Nepalese people I may be fortunate to work with or care for,” she said.

“I am also keen to learn about their culture and beliefs, and experience their way of educating people, and strive for better health outcomes.”

Each group member travelling to Nepal has a fundraising target of $1850. Funds will go to World Youth International and be used as part of global projects in Nepal and Kenya.

“Any extra money I raise will go towards clean birth kits, and programs to help women with uterine or bowel prolapses post birth, which is a significant problem in Nepal,” Ms Bull said.

Mater Mothers’ hospitals General Manager Kerri Gane praised the efforts of the group of midwives and nurses who are set to make a difference to those less fortunate in Nepal.

“Our frontline heroes are committed to supporting one another and providing the best possible care to our patients every day.

“To know they will work together and strive for the same outcome in Nepal is incredible,” Ms Gane said.

To help the group of Mater midwives with their fundraising goal click here.

 

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