Save the Mother, Save the World
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.


Regular or One-off


Doctors & Midwives


Be Twice the Doctor

Providing lifesaving maternal healthcare
in regional and remote Africa

Established in 2009, the Barbara May Foundation (BMF) provides funding to Australian medical professionals Valerie Browning AM and Dr Andrew Browning AM. They run 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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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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Dr Andrew Browning talks with NBNNews about the collateral impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic on underprivileged women approaching childbirth in regional and remote Africa. LINK IN BIO ...

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We would like to introduce you to a new initiative for the Foundation - March To Safe Birth: The Power of Two. During the month of March we are asking you to take part in ANY activity of your choice (have some fun with this!) and gain support from your friends and family with the aim of raising $200 - the cost of a safe birth in remote and regional Africa. You can raise more or less, do it on your own or create a team with your friends! Join us now to give underprivileged women in Africa dignity and safety in birth! Link in bio!! 🧡🧡 ...

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Dr Andrew Browning AM is considered one of the most experienced fistula surgeons in the world. Along with funding prevention strategies, the Foundation now funds Andrew's work in fistula repair in Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Sudan through Maternity Africa. They also undertake extensive outreach programmes to find women who due to their remote locations, lack of education or access to to maternal services, do not know help is available. All medical requirements and care, and ongoing counselling, are provided for free. ...

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This Tuesday just passed, was the celebration of Ethiopian Christmas Day. All of us from the Barbara May Foundation would like to wish our patients, our nurses & doctors, and all of those that support us, Happy Ethiopian Christmas! Melkam Genna 🧡 ...

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