Save the Mothers has a new academic director; Dr. Justus Barageine (pictured in the 2016/17 staff photo above in the front row, far left) was recently appointed to the role to provide academic oversight of the Master of Public Health Leadership (MPHL) program. A gynaecologist by profession, he is married with three children. Dr. Barageine first worked with Save the Mothers in 2007 as a supervisor for the MPHL students on the subject of obstetric fistula. Communications intern Fortunate Kagumaho interviewed Dr. Barageine shortly after his appointment to the role.

‘’The MPHL is a one-of-a-kind program,” says Dr. Barageine. “It involves non-medical professionals in the quest for safe motherhood. It is a program that understands that obtaining safe motherhood requires more than doctors. It takes an entire community.’’

“As a gynaecologist I have witnessed many heart breaking deaths,” he adds. “Most of which could have easily been prevented, if only every individual did their part in the community. In many cases, women are brought into the hospitals too late to save their lives. Often, they are first taken to traditional birth attendants or older women in the villages. Upon noticing even a slight complication, these people abandon them, and their loved ones end up carrying them to the hospitals.”

In communities where the nearest health facilities can be kilometres away, such delays often prove fatal.

Dr. Barageine says that educating leaders at all levels of society is critical to save the lives of such women. “Village health teams. Traditional birth attendants. Training different professionals in the community to use their skills will help save more mothers and babies from dying. This approach is what makes Save the Mothers’ work relevant.”

“I am looking forward to continued collaboration as we equip different professionals with the skills to avert maternal and new-born death and morbidity.”