Global Baby Steps was born after our founder, Robyn Talley, visited rural Tanzania in 2008.
While in Tanzania, Robyn met Faridah Mgunda and Miriam Gorotto of the community-based non-profit organization known as FLEMAFA. (Fly but Manage your Family) Faridah Mgunda and Miriam Gorotto are two professional midwives, who after retiring have dedicated their lives to training health care workers in the Kisware District in Tanzania. They have trained nurse assistants, birth attendants, and village health workers. They have received support from Global Baby Steps and from the Global Fund for Women and Circle Health International.
Presently, many women cannot afford the nominal cost to deliver their babies in maternity centers, so they stay in the villages, attended by untrained local women. 13,000 Tanzanian women die every year of pregnancy or childbirth related causes, many of which could be prevented if they had access to the most basic obstetrical care. Faridah and Miriam’s dream is to build a birthing center in the Kisaware district of eastern Tanzania where women can come to deliver their babies and receive prenatal care free of charge. The birthing center proximity to a hospital will enable women to receive additional care if complications arise during delivery.
Faridah and Miriam have found that trying to purchase land in Tanzania can take many years. We still hope to fund the maternity clinic once land has been purchased, but meanwhile we are currently funding other projects. We have supplied funds for the purchase of medical equipment, supplies and bicycles for the midwives and health care workers working with Faridah and Miriam. We have also funded an anesthesia machine, sterilization equipment, and a washing machine for the Itete Hospital in the Konde diocese of Tanzania, which will greatly improve the safely of women and babies at the hospital. The hospital is supported by the Lower Susquehanna Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church which oversees its operation in Tanzania. We are working with the Lutheran Church to fund other needed equipment for the maternity and pediatric areas of the Itete hospital.