Jane, 47, is a journalist and policy analyst who graduated from Save the Mothers’ Master of Public Health Leadership (MPHL) program in February. Communications Intern Fortunate Kagumaho brings us this interview.
Fortunate: Why did you decide to take the Save the Mothers’ MPHL?
Jane: I wanted to be part of providing solutions to reduce maternal deaths in Uganda.
I had an interest and passion to improve the lives of women, so I did the MPHL to acquire specialised knowledge and skills to address maternal mortality. I also wanted to gain a better understanding of the issue, and learn how I might use my background in communication, policy analysis, and advocacy to address maternal health challenges. As a trained journalist and development communication specialist, I knew the importance of communication for health promotion.
Finally, I wanted to link my work in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) to maternal health. I had noticed an absence of concerted efforts to link WASH with maternal health beyond providing good quality water, sanitation and hygiene facilities and services. I saw the need for mothers to understand their roles and responsibilities in ensuring that WASH facilities and services are not only accessible and reliable, but well maintained and therefore sustainable. I also saw the need to promote and advocate for WASH facilities and services at all health centres, clinics and hospitals, especially in maternity units.
Fortunate: What do you hope to do with your Save the Mothers’ training?
Jane: I hope to publish my research findings—in their entirety and as articles and briefs. I’d also like to develop a blog on communication and maternal health, and become involved with organizations that promote maternal health through policy advocacy and implementation.
Fortunate: How do you plan to make a difference in your country and community?
Jane: At the national level, I’d like to advocate for more funds for maternal health and document and share innovations and best practices for improving maternal health. In my own community, I plan to encourage friends to join the Save the Mothers programme and volunteer my time and services at antenatal care clinics, to provide needed information to pregnant women.