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06 September 2013
A Cardiff University Professor working to reduce the maternal mortality rate in Sub-Saharan Africa is leading a team of runners in this weekend’s Cardiff 10k race. The Mothers of Africa team taking to the streets of Cardiff are raising funds to build an educational facility for the people of Chongwe in Zambia.
Professor Judith Hall established the educational charity in 2004 after learning that women in Benin were 80 times more likely to die in childbirth than those in developed countries.
Professor Hall, a winner of a Welsh Woman of the Year award said:
"I felt I had to do something after hearing a doctor from Benin at a seminar talking about the maternal mortality rate in sub-Saharan Africa. I learned that the number of women dying through childbirth would fill three Boeing 747 planes every day. I was appalled. I decided no matter how little I could do, I would try to do something."
Over the last eight years, volunteers from the charity - including staff from Cardiff University and the NHS in Wales - have developed and delivered training for anaesthetic medical staff at the front-line of maternal care in four African countries: Ethiopia; Benin; Togo and Liberia.
The money raised by the runners will support the development of a classroom in the remote village in Zambia, to be used to disseminate best practice in medicine. The facility is also improving computer literacy in the wider community by providing access to computers. The people of Chongwe recently worked with staff from Cardiff School of Engineering to install a solar power system which powers the IT facilities, vaccination fridge and also provides general power and lighting.
Supporters of the charity will also be running in the Cardiff Half-Marathon next month. You can find out more about the efforts of the Mothers of Africa runners at www.justgiving.com/moarunscardiff
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