Monday, 17 June 2013

Jane Morgan MBE

Jane Morgan from Formby has been awarded an MBE for services to midwifery in the UK, and the provision of maternity services in Shyira, Rwanda.

Typically modest, she says “I was overwhelmed to hear that I am being given an MBE because I feel as though I’ve just being doing my job. I’m no good at shouting about my achievements, I don’t really like the attention, but it’s lovely to be recognised for what you do. This is a huge honour - it still hasn’t sunk in yet.”

A trustee of the Shyira Trust, a small Formby-based charity, she continues “My life changed when I went to Rwanda in 2001, and I went to visit the maternity hospital in Shyira. I was completely unprepared for what I saw. There were five nurses, only one of whom was trained, and no midwives. There was no running water or electricity and it was filthy. The delivery room had a big hole in the window so everyone congregated outside and looked in during deliveries. And on the ward, mothers who had just given birth were mixed with women who had miscarried or had malaria or TB. I was absolutely paralysed with shock.

n MBE with Fidele and Robinah. Improving Maternal Health in Rwanda
Jane, with Fidele and Robinah,
outside the rebuilt Shyira maternity hospital
“When I got home from Rwanda I was like a woman possessed. Through the church and local community we raised £24,000 to build a new hospital and it has made such a difference to the people of Shyira. At the time we didn’t realise just how successful it was going to be.

"Myself and a team of midwives are flying out to Rwanda in August to look at extending the hospital. It has becoming so popular with 1,000 babies being delivered a year, and because so many mums are coming for care, they are running out of room so we want to do something to change this.”

Even when rebuilt, the maternity hospital had no trained midwives, so as part of an on-going education project, Jane has established two scholarships that have helped local nurses to train as midwives. Those 2 midwives, Fidele and Robinah, have drastically reduced maternal and infant mortality and morbidity in Shyira. She also often visits during her holidays to pass on her own skills to the staff.

Congratulations to Jane for this well-deserved honour, and good luck to her for her continuing efforts to fund Midwifery Training, Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood projects in Rwanda