Regular or One-off


Doctors & Midwives


Be Twice the Doctor

Providing lifesaving maternal healthcare in regional and remote Africa

Around the world, approximately 800 women die every day from birth-related injuries. More than half of these are in sub-Saharan Africa. The Barbara May Foundation funds projects that provide dignity and safety for underprivileged women in birth.

Established in 2009, the Barbara May Foundation (BMF) provides funding to Australian medical professionals Valerie Browning AM and Dr Andrew Browning AM. Running projects in regional and remote Africa (Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Sudan) that relieve the high incidence of death and extreme injury in pregnancy and childbirth. They provide safety, dignity and hope. Maternal healthcare and medical services are provided at no cost, regardless of race or religion.

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The Foundation will be hosting our annual fundraising event in Melbourne to raise funds for the work of Dr Andrew Browning AM, Valerie Browning AM and the Barbara May Foundation (BMF) in sub-Saharan Africa.

We are so looking forward to welcoming our friends and supporters back after the COVID-enforced break!

We do hope you are able to join Dr Andrew Browning and members of the Board for our event this year, and help us help the most marginalized women in the world.

Friday, May 21, 2021
Leonda by the Yarra, 2 Wallen Rd, Hawthorn VIC 3122
$180pp includes gourmet dinner and wines.

Tickets are very limited and can be purchased here:

Details: Lucy Gigluto  

We are also seeking donations of goods and services for the Silent Auction. If you are able to help please email Lucy!  Thank-you

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Today the Foundation recognises the one year anniversary of the passing of Dr Catherine Hamlin AC. Today, Dr Andrew Browning is in Sth Sudan at the Reconciliation Hospital where he has completed 21 fistula operations in the past four days with another 14 to go before heading to Uganda. That’s 35 women’s lives changed for the better – their dignity and health returned.

In Tanzania at the Kivluni Hospital, Dr Mbise, trained in O&G through funds provided by the Foundation and mentored for many years by Andrew, is now on staff. This week he has successfully completed some challenging fistula repair cases - here he is operating yesterday.

This is Catherine Hamlin’s legacy in action and we are proud to support Andrew and Valerie Browning as they continue to provide free maternal healthcare and fistula repair surgery to the most marginalised women in the world.

#maternalhealth #africa #fistularepair

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If there was ever an International woman deserving worldwide accolades – it’s our Valerie Browning! Valerie has been described by many as one of Australia’s unsung national treasures.

She has lived among the Afar nomadic tribes in Northern Ethiopia for more than 31 years and has worked tirelessly to improve their lives. In 2011, the Barbara May Maternity Hospital, funded by the Foundation and servicing more than 500,000 women, was built and became operational including out-reach services to assist women in extremely remote communities.

Valerie was awarded an Order of Australia in 1999 for service to international humanitarian aid through promoting health and literacy programs in the horn of Africa.

Despite battling ongoing and extremely challenging conditions, Valerie remains cheerful and positive about the future of the her beloved Afar people she has come to call family.

Thank-you to all our wonderful friends who love and support Valerie as much as we do!


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The Foundation is excited to announce that Pan Macmillan will publish Dr Andrew Browning's memoir ‘A Doctor in Africa’ on April 27.

With the preface by HRH The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, and foreword by Her Excellency, Linda Hurley, Andrew's book is an inspiring story of his selfless life, from the obstacles he has overcome working in remote, harsh and vastly under-resourced regions, to the compelling stories of the women whose lives he has transformed forever through fistula surgery and access to free maternal healthcare.

Please follow the link in our bio to pre-order. All royalties go to the Barbara May Foundation. 

The book is out on 27 April, but you can pre-order it by following the link in our bio.

#drandrewbrowning #adoctorinafrica #obstetrician #gynaecologist #fistula 
#maternalhealthcare #africa

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News just back from Kivulini Maternity Hospital in Tanzania is that nearly all of the 67 women who were suffering with fistula injuries and operated on by Dr Andrew recently are completely cured and have now returned home.

They are delighted and couldn't wait to be reunited with their families. Sadly eight ladies still have some issues, but there is still hope and Andrew and his team is scheduling them for the next fistula camp.

The fistula surgeries for these wonderful and brave women at Kivulini are provided free-of-charge including any follow-up services they may require.


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Dr Andrew Browning has recently been in Tanzania where he operated on 67 women suffering from obstetric fistula injuries – many caused by the fact they could not travel to hospitals for a safe birth due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Every morning the staff and patients (the one’s with the buckets) at Kivulini Maternity Hospital give thanks to God and express joy for their treatment and cure.

How wonderful is their happiness!


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Sydney University has published this story about our Dr Andrew.
Most Australians have never heard of obstetric fistula.

Yet in other places, it is a source of terrible suffering and shame for many thousands of women every year.

2020 Alumni Award winner Dr Andrew Browning AM (MBBS '95) is helping those women reclaim their lives.
To read more follow the link in our bio.

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Ethiopia has a different calendar system and there New Year is on September 11th. It's the biggest festival of the year and the staff of VMC take some time off to celebrate it together in the grounds of our hospital.

We are thankful for all their hard work in saving the lives of so many women and babies- a well deserved break

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When supporters Pat and Jenny Kennedy go for their morning walk each day, they don their gloves and carry a bag to collect recyclable bottles and cans.

At the end of the month they cash them in and donate the money to the Barbara May Foundation. Each year the Kennedy’s raise enough money from recycling to provide 50 delivery kits for local birth attendants or at least one life-saving caesarean section for a woman with obstructed labour.

The winners? Underprivileged African women and a cleaner environment. Thanks Pat and Jenny! Anyone else got novel ideas on how to raise more money during these challenging COVID times?

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Dr Andrew Browning AM shares his thoughts about the women he and Valerie Browning AM care for in remote and regional Africa. #dignityandsafetyinbirth #maternalhealth #obstetricfistula #africa ...

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It had been suggested to Dr Andrew that he write a book about his time in Africa looking after women with fistulas and the maternal health of so many others.

We can announce today that after nine months of hard work Dr Andrew has finished! In wonderful news, Publishers Pan Macmillan have snapped up the rights to this charming, thoughtful and highly emotional book.

The book, with the tentative title of Into Africa, is expected to be published around May 2021.
We will keep you updated. #africa #maternalhealthcare #obstetricfistula

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Valerie Browning has shared these distressing images with us highlighting the extreme food insecurity being experienced in the region where she works exacerbated by COVID-19 restrictions on the movement of freight and the recent drought and locust plagues.

Her Rural Maternity teams had just completed a malnutrition survey and put a total of seven children into hospital for naso-gastric feeding and antibiotics and there are more being carried out from remote areas to where a vehicle can reach them.

Valerie said, “These photos are horrifically shocking for me. I have sent them to the Bureau of Health, WFP and UNICEF and am arranging to meet all of same. Famix (supplementary food), paid for with the funds you have sent, is being moved to this area.”

The Barbara May Foundation is providing additional funding to Valerie and her teams to provide food and care packages to support 2,000 pregnant women and those supporting babies and young children in her immediate region. If you can help by donating, please go to

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