Maternal Aid Association in Bangladesh
Maternal Aid Association UK, a King’s College London student led charity, is currently working in Bangladesh to improve maternal health.
Maternal Aid Association (MAA) is a grassroots student led charity striving to improve situations in resource-poor settings such as Bangladesh, to bring about safe, effective, high quality maternal healthcare. MAA was founded by Aqil Jaigirdar, a 3rd year King’s College London medical student, and the team comprises current King’s College London healthcare students supported by Professor Janice Rymer, Vice President for the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Professor of Gynaecology at King’s College London, and Consultant Gynaecologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, and Dr Daghni Rajasingham, Consultant Obstetrician Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
This is the first overseas trip MAA have taken with the aim of providing high quality long-term sustainable maternal care in rural areas of Bangladesh. The trip is led by Faisel Alam, 4th year postgraduate King’s College London medical student. The team left London on 13 August and will return two weeks later. MAA has established strong links with British healthcare professionals, Bangladeshi universities, medical professionals and healthcare students in Bangladesh. This way, there is a long-term and sustainable relationship built between two countries that will co-operate, monitor and evaluate the implementation of innovative work that will drive up maternal healthcare standards.
The team of student volunteers will spend two weeks working alongside Bangladeshi healthcare professionals from the Sylhet Women Medical College, MAG Osmani Medical College and in varying hospital settings. While there, the team will also prepare and lead a seminar on maternal care at Sylhet Women Medical College using evidence-based best practice and reflections from their international volunteering experiences. The team will participate in three days of health camps at Balaganj, Sylhet – offering free basic health checks in parts of rural Bangladesh. This will reach hundreds of local residents that would otherwise not normally have access to basic healthcare.
Before departing for Bangladesh the students met with Professor Andrew Shennan’s team member, Dr Nicola Vousden, to provide them with five revolutionary CRADLE VSA devices to use on their trip.
The Microlife CRADLE VSA is the world’s first medical device to detect shock and high blood pressure in pregnant women and could cut maternal deaths in developing countries by up to 25%, saving more than 70,000 lives a year. It was developed by Professor Andrew Shennan, Professor of Obstetrics at King’s College London, based at St. Thomas’ Hospital. In addition, the Division of Women’s Health at St Thomas’ Hospital donated a box of baby clothes to give to families in Bangladesh.
MAA was awarded ‘Community Impact Project of the Year 2016’ by King’s College London Student’s Union, as voted by the King’s College London student community.
Follow their progress on Snapchat @MaaCharityUK, on Facebook facebook.com/maacharityuk and on Twitter @maacharityuk or view footage from their health complex in a rural Bangladeshi village, Balaganj.
You can also donate to their journey.