Home Health Improving maternal health in Bangladesh

Improving maternal health in Bangladesh

6 October 2017

A charity founded by students which aims to improve maternal health in resource-poor countries has completed its second major overseas project.

Maa UK (Maternal Aid Association UK), set up by King’s medical students, spent two weeks working with birth attendants and healthcare workers, teaching them about safe practices around maternal healthcare in rural Bangladesh – a country blighted by high rates of miscarriages and deaths of mothers and infants.

A team of 7 multi-disciplinary students travelled overseas to Bangladesh to deliver free health checks and educational workshops to pregnant mothers in rural villages. They have been supported by consultant gynaecologist at King’s and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, Professor Janice Rymer and Dr Daghni Rajasingham, Consultant Obstetrician at Guy’s and St Thomas’.

I volunteered in Bangladesh to see for myself the issues we are dealing with. I remember meeting a new-born baby boy born at a hospital in Sylhet. Meeting him at just 15 minutes old is an experience I will never forget – Kamil Mahmood, King’s College London graduate dentist and UK JourneyMaa Volunteer

One of the many activities the students took part in was offering basic health checks for mothers. Mothers could undergo a variety of tests, including having their blood pressure and blood glucose checked under the supervision of Bangladeshi doctors and healthcare professionals. Over 200 pregnant women were seen at the health camps.

Another key part of the trip was visiting both rural and urban Bangladeshi hospitals to understand and explore how healthcare varies across different settings. The students had the chance to visit both private and government hospitals.

The team also ran an educational workshop for young girls between the ages of 12-16 in Ramsiri, Sylhet. The educational workshops for mothers, young girls and traditional birth attendants used evidence-based teaching which aimed to improve long-term outcomes for women in Bangladesh. This initiative was able to reach over 80 young students.

The trip also aimed to provide simple, cost-effective interventions that can help to prevent maternal deaths and ill-health. The team introduced the Maa Cradle which is a multi-purpose cradle filled with items that promote child development.

MAA aims to reach out to other resource-poor settings across the developing world in the future.

You can find out more about Maa UK on Facebook, Snapchat & Twitter – @MaaCharityUK.

Interested in studying medicine at King’s? Find out more here.

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