“Educate a boy and you educate an individual. Educate a girl and you educate a family and a nation. ”
Being a woman in Uganda:
The fertility index in Uganda is very high: on average, every woman has 6 children. Fifteen percent of women give birth to their first child between the age of 15 and 19.
In rural areas, where 90% of the population lives, prenatal visits involve only 46% of women.
Deliveries supervised by qualified personnel in rural areas are only 53%.
The maternal mortality rate is 368 every 100,000 children born alive (in Italy it is 3 per 100,000.)
The neonatal mortality rate is 19 children (per 1000 live births). In Italy it is 4.
The availability of nurses/midwives is 13 per 10,000 inhabitants.
In the extremely poor context of Northern Uganda, the qualified training of women is not a priority and many young girls are forced to drop school early to become wives and mothers, and to taking the burden of caring for their family, caring for everything: for children and the elderly, the cultivation of the fields and the supply of water, without the possibility benefiting from the same educational opportunities reserved for men.
Guided by the intuition that Africa could be saved thanks to the great capacity of African women, Father Giuseppe Ambrosoli founded the Midwifery School in 1959, two years after the hospital was established.
Today, as then, St. Mary’s Midwifery Training School in Kalongo is a great opportunity for female empowerment and autonomy, as well as a great help and support for motherhood not only in Northern Uganda, but also in many countries of sub-Saharan Africa.
The training offer includes two specialized training courses:
CERTIFICATE IN MIDWIFERY (CM)
Two years and a half course for professional midwives
DIPLOMA IN MIDWIFERY (DM)
18-month course for head nurse midwives.
The teaching staff is made of five “Tutors” and three “Clinical Mentors” who accompany and support the students in the obstetric activity at Kalongo Hospital. The specialist midwifery school works in close connection with the hospital, creating a virtuous mechanism to support both the vocational training and the health activity of the hospital. The school is an essential support to the maternity ward of the hospital, where the students are working every day.
To date, from the Kalongo Midwifery School, recognized by the Ugandan Ministry of Health as one of the best schools in the country, more than 1460 midwives have graduated and have contributed with their professional skills to fighting the high maternal and child mortality rate
The Ambrosoli Foundation supports the school through the provision of scholarships and contributes to the strengthening of the educational and training activities of the midwifery school in order to:
Expand the training capacity of the school,improving the admission process, ensuring high quality teaching by promoting also basic computer courses.
Improve the school’s receptive capacity focusing both on improving teaching quality and on strengthening existing facilities through the creation of a computer room that can be used for distance learning as well.