SWINDON midwife Becky Millar has flown out to South Sudan to spend a month helping in a country that has one of the highest death rates among new born babies and mothers in the world.
The mother-of-two from Marlborough, has taken leave from her job at the Great Western Hospital to go to the city of Wau, where she will offer training and advice to students at its new nursing college, where the intake of trainees each year is only 20.
It is a personal mission for Becky that came about from a conversation she had on Easter Sunday at St Mary’s Church, in Marlborough, with a member of the Salisbury diocese medical link team, who had just returned from the Sudan.
The 39-year-old said: “The differences between what we have in the NHS and what they have out there are vast. Basically they have absolutely nothing.
“It’s a country where one in seven women die in childbirth and one in four children don’t make it to their fifth birthday.”
Becky was a nurse the GWH for seven years before deciding to train as a midwife.
She has paid for the trip herself, raising the £2,500 through car boot sales and donations from friends, the hospital and St Mary’s Church.
Packed in her baggage for the flight to Africa was a life-sized model pelvis and a doll to resemble a baby complete with umbilical cord.
“These are standard training devices that I will be using out there and leaving behind, because Sudan has very little equipment,” she said.
She hopes to write a regular blog during her time in Sudan if the internet signal is strong enough. It will be at email@example.com.