IMD precedes International Nurses Day by a week. But it will be on Sunday May 20 that Australian midwife Bernadette Lack runs the Great Ocean Road Marathon in Victoria in order to raise funds to train midwives in Ethiopia, so as to increase the care for women suffering from obstetric fistula.
Bernadette is based in Central Australia, often working with women in remote indigenous communities. Here she is surrounded by flies, training in the early morning of a hot day:
Bernadette explains what motivated her to raise funds for this cause:
One woman a minute dies from childbirth – that is the equivalent of 5 jumbo jets worth of women, dead a day!
Women aged 15 to 44 are more likely to be maimed or die from male violence than from cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined (Vlachova & Biason, 2005)
Child mortality has plunged, longevity has increased but childbirth remains as deadly as it was 30 years ago!
For every woman who dies in childbirth, at least 10 suffer significant injuries such as fistulas or serious tearing
When a woman dies in childbirth, her surviving children are much more likely to die young as well, because they no longer have a mother caring for them.
At least 390 women will be dead in the time it takes me to run my marathon.
She’s well on track to raise $20,000, on her aptly named Everyday Hero fundraising page!
Don’t forget our International Nurses Day contest - the best photo of nurses celebrating will win a two-night stay in the Hunter Valley.