Sometimes pregnant women walk for ten miles to reach Mary Turey. Mary (centre) is a Maternal Health Promoter in Kamalo village in the Northern Bombali District of Sierra Leone, she provides information on pregnancy and advice to pregnant women, and refers them to the nearby health centre.
For many women in rural Sierra Leone (and from rural areas in countries around the world), the long journey to a health centre, and nowhere to stay when they get there, means they struggle to have a skilled health worker with them though labour. This puts many women in danger.
To solve this, Mary and others in her village who live near a health centre have offered a room in their homes, so that pregnant women from villages far away can travel before they go in to labour, and stay in a safe place, looked after by someone who has been trained, until they deliver in the health centre.
Health Poverty Action has provided these women, who are doing incredible things to improve maternal health, with training and the equipment for the rooms they offer up in their homes.
Mary said; ‘‘My new role is very important because very often there are complications during delivery and now I’m making sure that women are assisted in the health facility, so if there is a complication trained health personnel deal with it’.