Teacher Turns to Lay-Midwifery in Service to Uganda's Mothers & Babies
Jeniffer Mukhwana, BEd — is a school teacher, lay midwife and community leader in her rural district of Wakiso — 15 kilometres east of Uganda's Capital, Kampala.
She left professional teaching in 2002 to become more involved in community work — first for the empowerment of women in her region — in self-help and entrepreneurship.
At the request of the Ugandan Ministry of Health, she has also taken on the role of voluntary lay midwife in her local community health center — working with skilled nurses and approved by her district leaders and health authorities to do so. Her dream is to continue training in nursing and to acquire other advanced skills in health related matters.
With her husband, Andrew, Jeniffer also serves as a leader on the team of the 'Initiatives of Change' (IofC) in Northern Uganda. Andrew is a Deputy Principal of one of the biggest government-aided primary schools in Kampala City. Together, they helped to organize the Uganda Muslim and Christian Teachers' Dialogue convened in Lira, Uganda in 2012. Attended by teachers, head teachers, principals of primary schools and colleges, as well as district education officers and political leaders, this conference focused on 'Enhancing Teachers' Role in Development, Peace Building and Good Governance.'
In their IofC leadership roles, Jeniffer and Andrew met, in 2010, with NIGH representatives at an International IofC conference in Switzerland. There they began their planning to collaborate with NIGH — to strengthen their own community service — particularly for rural womens' health and education — and to provide the NIGH representatives with much-needed insights for the 'on-the-ground' needs of women in rural Africa.
Jeniffer has since worked directly with our growing team, serving on NIGH's Advisory Board, to strengthen the outreach of the 'Daring, Caring & Sharing to Save Mothers' Lives' Campaign — with a focus on the specific needs Uganda and Ugandan women.
Her online article — featured here below — was first published on NIGH's original website. She regularly ‘meets’ electronically within the NIGH leadership to implement their collective worldwide outreach and to empower the voices of nurses and midwives with messages of concern and hope for 'Improving Maternal Health' the UN Millennium Development Goal # 5 and the new UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Photo Credits: From Jennifer Mukhwana's archives depicting her work at the Wakiso District Clinic near Kampala in Uganda.