Mary Africa

Helping women to give birth safely

Through our partnership with AMREF, CARE International and Save the Children, we’re helping midwives like Mary develop their skills and ensure more women give birth safely in Africa.

Click here to learn about GSK’s commitment to health workers in the world's poorest countries.

Mary had always wanted to be a midwife. Living in Tanzania, which has one of the world’s highest rates of maternal death, she wanted to help women experience childbirth safely. Mary in the hospital ward Now 40 and a mother herself, Mary has many years’ experience as a practising midwife on maternity, antenatal and labour wards in Tanzania. But her level of training means she is only an ‘enrolled’ midwife – this limits the number of unsupervised procedures she can conduct.

For the last 18 years, I have yearned for a diploma. I have wanted to do more for the mothers and children I attend to. But with limited resources and a diabetic husband, it has been impossible for me to consider going back to school to upgrade my skills

Mary - Community health midwife


Mary in the hospital ward
Mary working in the ward.

Through our programme to reinvest 20% of profits generated in developing countries back into those countries, we work with three organisations – Amref Health Africa, CARE International and Save the Children. Our work focuses on strengthening these countries’ healthcare systems to help improve access to healthcare, mainly through training frontline health workers. Community health workers and midwives – like Mary – are vital to ensuring people even in the most remote areas can access the care and treatment they need. But there is not enough of them. In Tanzania, for example, almost half of women give birth without assistance from a skilled nurse or midwife. This can leave women vulnerable to complications. That is why we want to help swell the ranks of midwives and other health workers, and support their training and development. This will help save lives by making sure more women can access the care they need during pregnancy, childbirth and beyond.

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