New MPHL graduate Ruth, with husband Philip, and newborn Tirzah, whom she delivered the night before.

 

While in Mukono celebrating with the new Save the Mothers Masters of Public Health Leadership (MPHL) graduates, we had the opportunity to visit with and learn more about some of the newest STM Game Changers.

Midwife Connie enthused about her studies at Save the Mothers (STM), saying she valued the encouragement she received and was extremely thankful for the support of the entire STM team, which made it possible to achieve her goal. She also values the exposure the program gave her to communities where mothers are struggling, the opportunities to see what others have done to save mothers, and how they’ve taken their learning into the real world. She thanked Dr. Jean for making STM “a home” and concluded that now the grads can go out into their communities to help save the mothers. Connie now advocates to save the lives of mothers and their babies in the Tororo District.

It takes a family

The star mother on graduation day, Ruth exemplified the dedication and importance of the MPHL to the new grads. She and her husband Philip came from Western Uganda for the graduation ceremony. En route, they stopped by the local hospital to deliver their new baby, Tirzah (meaning “most favoured”), the evening before, and happily arrived for the morning ceremony and lunch with tiny baby in their arms. Philip said his wife’s thinking had completely changed during her studies. And her MPHL research (regarding the survival of newborns) meant they were very well prepared for this delivery.

Philip exemplified the value of supportive spouses for many of the MPHL students. He was excited to find that the class was a “family,” and of course, that the STM “family” had no problem with Ruth breast-feeding her newborn at the lunch.  When not delivering her own baby, Ruth is a social worker serving vulnerable children and young mothers in Kabale, Western Uganda. Her two older sons’ grandma looked after the boys while Ruth was taking her classes in Mukono, demonstrating the truth that it often takes a family to create a new Game Changer.