Supporting safe birth and fistula treatment in Africa
- by Riley Buchanan
- August 31, 2021
The Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid (Anglican Aid), together with the Barbara May Foundation (BMF) has announced a fundraising partnership which raises money towards better outcomes for pregnant women and mothers in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Barbara May Foundation, founded by prominent surgeon and Sydney Anglican, Dr Andrew Browning, provides free maternal healthcare, including fistula treatment surgery, to women in sub-Saharan Africa, where over 204,000 women die each year in pregnancy and childbirth and many more are injured.
Anglican Aid is an aid and ministry support agency of Sydney Anglicans in partnership with the global church.
Dr. Browning worked for many years with Dr. Catherine Hamlin in Ethiopia and continues today working towards preventing fistulas and treating affected women in the name of Christ.
Obstetric fistula is an injury caused if a mother does not receive proper medical care when experiencing complications during childbirth, resulting in holes (fistula) in her bladder, bowel, or birth canal. These injuries have been largely eradicated in Australia thanks to the availability of medical interventions like caesareans.
Anglican Aid will assist the Barbara May Foundation to fund hospitals in Ethiopia and Tanzania that provide free maternal healthcare, provide safe birth and treat women suffering with obstetric fistulas, as well as training midwives, doctors, and fistula surgeons in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania. All services are provided free-of-charge regardless of race, religion or financial capacity with more than 16,000 women assisted annually.
The partnership will encourage more Sydney Anglicans to support the work of Dr Andrew Browning through Anglican Aid.
Anglican Aid has been involved in supporting maternal healthcare in Africa since 1972, when, under Archbishop Marcus Loane and then Archbishop Harry Goodhew’s directions, Anglican Aid supported the fistula hospital run by Drs Reg and Catherine Hamlin, and then the construction of a ward and doctor’s residence for the hospital.
Canon Tim Swan, CEO of Anglican Aid said, “It brings me great joy to know that Anglican Aid is once again supporting safe childbirth and fistula treatment in Africa.”
“Dr Andrew Browning is a wonderful example of being motivated by the love of Christ and using one’s God-given gifts to care for those in the deepest distress.
“I pray that this partnership will encourage Christians in Australia to get behind this work, that we may see the grace of God overflowing to a world in need.”
All donations to Anglican Aid for this project are tax deductible. In the case that a fundraising appeal has received sufficient donations, any surplus funds will be used for a similar activity or an activity in the same country.