KATE Middleton has interviewed a Ugnadan midwife to help raise the profile of nursing.
The Duchess of Cambridge spoke with Harriet Nayiga, the founder of Community Transformation – a charity which aims to bridge the gap between midwives and Ugandan communities.
Kensington Palace released a picture of the Duchess on a videocall with Harriet, with a framed picture of Prince George and Princess Charlotte in their school uniforms behind her.
The chat between the pair has been published in Nursing Times, to mark the finale of Nursing Now – a three year global campaign to increase the status of nursing.
Nurses and midwives form the backbone of health care delivery in Uganda, making up 75 per cent of the public health care workforce.
They are usually the first point of contact for patients, especially in hard to reach areas where resources can be scarce.
The interview, published on the International Day of the Midwife, explores challenges Harriet faces as a community nurse midwife in the country.
She told how she regularly battles issues such as high maternal mortality rates, teenage pregnancies, domestic and sexual violence towards women.
The Duchess asked Harriet how she dealt with the challenges of Covid in the last year.
Harriet said: "Usually we do community outreach, we go to the community and reach out to check on them, but when Covid came we could not do it, especially during the lockdown.
"These key populations could not even get spare money to buy a mask. With funding support, we were able to respond to their needs."
Harriet told the Duchess how she works out of her house and doesn't get a salary for her important work.
She said: "I give out two to work as an office and then I sleep in one room, so it is not enough. That has challenged us.
"We just wish that we can get an office and a centre where we can build skills and train to provide care that is holistic.
"We also need transport facilities. I find myself walking to reach out to the women I care for.
"Right now, I’m getting a car but it has failed to work. I have to buy a new battery and it is expensive. I struggle a lot, however, I love what I do. I’m standing as a midwife to empower others."
Kate told her: "I’m in awe of all that you’re doing. It really is inspiring. We need more of you Harriet."
She finished by saying she hoped to come and see their work "first-hand", and told Harriet she should be proud.
Kate launched the Nursing Now campaign in February 2018, and last year marked the International Day of the Nurse alongside The Countess of Wessex by videocalling nurses in seven different Commonwealth countries to thank them for their work during the pandemic.
Nursing Now have supported Harriet’s work by introducing her to a network of global health leaders and helping her to build self-confidence.
Over the last three years more than 31,000 young professionals have signed up for Nursing Now’s Nightingale Challenge,
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