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Be Twice the Doctor

Providing lifesaving maternal healthcare & fistula repair in remote Africa

Around the world, approximately 800 women die every day from birth-related injuries such as fistula. 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 remote Africa (Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Sudan) that relieve the high incidence of death and extreme injury such as fistula 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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It’s National Volunteers Week so we would like to shout out to all the wonderful volunteers past and present who have helped grow the BMF-funded programmes in Africa with critical medical and midwife training. Pictured here are just some of our terrific volunteers, who come from all over the world - thank-you to all of you! We are very grateful for your precious time and the sharing of your extraordinary knowledge and expertise. www.barbaramayfoundation #volunteers #africa #safebirth #fistularepair #savethemothersavetheworld ...

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The Boards of Barbara May Foundation and the Te-Kworo Foundation are delighted to invite you to an inspiring evening in Melbourne to celebrate a life-saving collaboration in Uganda.
Date: Friday 20th May
Time: 6pm-10pm AEDT
Location: Leonda By The Yarra - 2 Wallen Road, Hawthorn VIC 3122

Price: $180pp, includes gourmet dinner and all beverages

The partnership brings together Alice Achan and Te-Kworo’s 20 years of grassroots work with war- affected girls and women in northern Uganda with Dr Andrew Browning’s two decades of service to women, preventing and treating obstetric fistulas, in Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Sudan and other parts of Africa.

Together, we will see the realisation of a built-for-purpose maternity hospital in remote northern Uganda to provide free maternal health services for underprivileged women and girls affected by conflict and poverty who currently lack access to such services.

The event will mark the launch of our work together, as we celebrate the vital role of mothers globally on Mother’s Day in May and set out to improve birth outcomes in a region with some of the world’s highest rates of mother and infant mortality.

We invite you to share our vision for safe birth and look forward to you joining us. Available seats are limited now so please book asap.
Link for tickets in bio.

#savethemothersavetheworld #barbaramayfoundation #savethemothersavetheworld #barbaramayfoundation #tekworofoundation #uganda #africa #collaboration #safebirth

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Number 8 in our series of the wonderful women who work in BMF-funded projects is Grace Chwezi who joined Maternity Africa in Arusha, Tanzania two-years-ago. She’s a social worker and brings 16 years of experience to the Kivulini hospital. Grace is in charge of going deep into the rural and remote areas of this region to educate communities about fistula treatment and prevention. She also identifies women who need assistance and brings them to the hospital for treatment. This is the main way people hear about Maternity Africa’s services and access free care. She runs education classes, vocational classes and offers psychosocial support to the fistula patients and pregnant mothers in need, especially the teenage mothers. “I love my work so much and feel happy and proud to help these vulnerable people,” she said.
#savethemothersavetheworld #safebirth #barbaramayfoundation #maternalhealth #tanzania #maternityafrica #fistularepair

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"No language can express the power and beauty and heroism of a mother's love." —Edwin Chapin

Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing mothers around the world from the Barbara May Foundation and all the brilliant projects we fund in Africa.

#barbaramayfoundation #mothersday2022 #savethemothersavetheworld #ethiopia #tanzania #southsudan #uganda #eastafrica

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Happy International Day of the Midwife - celebrated annually on 5 May, providing the opportunity to honour the work of midwives, and promote awareness of the crucial care that midwives provide to mothers and their newborns.
This year marks the establishment, 100 years ago, of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM). There are currently 143 Midwives' Associations representing 124 countries worldwide, including the Confederation of African Midwives Associations (CONAMA), which was inaugurated in 2013. #barbaramayfoundation #midwives #internationalmidwivesday

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The Boards of Barbara May Foundation and the Te-Kworo Foundation are delighted to officially announce its life-saving collaboration in remote Northern Uganda.
The partnership brings together Alice Achan and Te-Kworo’s 20-years of grassroots work with war-affected girls and women with Dr Andrew Browning’s two decades of service to women, preventing and treating obstetric fistulas, in remote East Africa.
Together, the organisations will see the realisation of a built-for-purpose maternity hospital to provide free maternal health services. Two great teams embarking on an exciting journey together.
Learn more at

#savethemothersavetheworld #barbaramayfoundation #savethemothersavetheworld #barbaramayfoundation #tekworofoundation #uganda #africa #collaboration #safebirth

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Looking for Mother’s Day gift idea? A Doctor in Africa is a fabulous read AND the royalties from sales go directly to the Barbara May Foundation, which funds safe birth and fistula repair surgery for underprivileged women in remote East Africa.
$34.99 through all good bookstores, online or through the Foundation by emailing:
#savethemothersavetheworld #barbaramayfoundation #savethemothersavetheworld #barbaramayfoundation #mothersdaygiftideas2022

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Number 7 in our series of the wonderful women who work in BMF-funded projects is Sr Tesfarnesh who has been working as a midwife for the last 13 years and joined the staff of Vision Maternity Care Hospital (VMC) five-years-ago. Sr Tesfarnesh is one of VMC’s senior midwives and covers all aspects of maternal healthcare in the hospital. She can't remember how many mothers she has cared for and babies she has delivered but points out ‘each woman and each baby is special.’
#savethemothersavetheworld #safebirth #barbaramayfoundation #maternalhealth #ethiopia

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Number 6 in our series of the wonderful women who work in BMF-funded projects is Sr Gizwork who is originally from a small town outside BarhirDar in Ethiopia. On leaving school she won a scholarship at the Hamlin College of Midwives. During her training she did her practical attachments at the BMF-funded Vision Maternity Care Hospital (VMC) and fell in love with the hospital, the patients and her colleagues and went on to join the team as a full-time midwife. Her particular skill is caring for the HIV positive mothers and new-borns. Sr Gizwork says, 'I enjoy the chance of being able to give quality care because of the good facilities at VMC. My greatest joy is seeing the mothers enjoy their babies.'
#savethemothersavetheworld #safebirth #barbaramayfoundation #maternalhealth #ethiopia #midwives

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Number 5 in our series of the wonderful women who work in BMF-funded projects, Sr Karima is a midwife in the Barbara may Maternity Hospital (BMMH) in Mille, Ethiopia. She has been working under extremely difficult conditions, not only due to the harsh conditions of the desert, but also due to the civil war raging in the region. Sr Karima is skilled at handling all complications of pregnancy and delivery and is also able to run the operating theatre and assist in surgery. During the height of the conflict, the BMMH was the closest health facility for many of the injured soldiers from the war front. Karima has played a key role in saving many lives.
Interested in learning more about BMF? Visit

#savethemothersavetheworld #barbaramayfoundation #fistula #fistularepairoperations #maternalhealth # safebirth #ethiopia

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This is Mulu, 35, who had a long, difficult labour seven-years-ago, resulting in a dead baby and severe injuries to her bladder and bowel making her incontinent. She lived in the far north of the Afar desert (Ethiopia) alone for years without any help. In 2021 she heard that she could get treated for free at the Barbara May Maternity Hospital in Mille, Ethiopia, and set out on the 800km journey across the desert, risking famine because of the locust plagues, and then evading the civil war that is sweeping across the region. When she finally arrived at the hospital, she found that Dr Andrew had been unable to reach Mille because the conflict had closed any access. Devastated, she returned home, only to make the long and dangerous journey again recently in her desperation to be healed.
She is now in the hospital receiving care, but is unwell and suffering from malnutrition making extensive treatment dangerous. The medical team were able to commence some treatment on her bowel injuries, but her bladder injuries will have to wait until her strength improves.
Want to help women like Mulu – Donate now at
#savethemothersavetheworld #barbaramayfoundation #fistula #fistularepairoperations #maternalhealth #ethiopia #sobrave

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Number 4 in our series of the wonderful women who work in BMF-funded projects is Rozalia Sukums, an enrolled nurse/midwife who started work in Kivulini, Arusha, Tanzania in 2018. Rozalia has nine years of experience in maternity and not only manages all normal deliveries, but also life-threatening emergencies like eclampsia, which is when the mother has a life-threatening fit in labour.
Rozalia attends every patient under her care with dignity, care and compassion and is a mentor to the junior staff in clinical skills. In her own words - ‘I love to touch people’s lives and see smiles on the faces of the mothers when they hold their newborn baby.’
#savethemothersavetheworld #Fistularepair #safebirth #respect #dignity #tanzania #barbaramayfoundation

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Dr Andrew is currently back in Africa and undertaking Fistula camps in Tanzania and South Sudan. He has just shared this story with us from Tanzania. Erica is in her early forties and 25-years-ago she had a three day labour at home, delivering a stillborn baby and got a fistula. Remarkably her husband stayed with her and she became pregnant two more times and had live babies by a caesarean section. However her fistula was considered too difficult to cure. She was also complicated by later developing a very large spleen, as large as a term pregnancy which consumed all her platelets - blood cells that help clotting. We attempted to operate last year but even taking a blood test made her bleed for some hours - an operation could have proved fatal. Our surgical colleague, Dr Bariki, undertook a remarkable operation to remove her spleen which required multiple transfusions. She recovered well and yesterday we were able to operate on her complex fistula injury. Today she is smiling after her first dry night in 25 years.

#fistularepair #africa #maternalhealth #safebirth #savethemothersavetheworld

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