Chai with Ssanyu
by Dena Thomas, Monitoring and Evaluations Intern
I am sitting outside of the Shanti birth house with head midwife Ssanyu Namuleme. We gather under the shade of the veranda outside the center, while her 3 year old daughter Honnia plays with her African doll on the swing only a few meters away.
How did you hear about Shanti Uganda Sanyu?
It was September 2010 when I came to visit a friend in Kasana. They were making announcements at the town center (near the petro station). They were talking about a new maternal and newborn health center that was going to be built and they were looking for midwives. So I went and visited Christine by bodda and she gave me all the information that I needed to consider the position. I was hired on staff shortly thereafter.
How do you feel about your recent promotion to head midwife at Shanti?
I am very happy. It shows me that my bosses have confidence and trust in me. I have a good reputation here at Shanti for providing mother centered care and I try and use these skills every day. I am also a mother and want to treat others the way I’d like to be treated.
What do you think your biggest challenge will be here at Shanti in your new position?
The level of responsibility and growing into that role. I also need to develop my administrative skills more, as I am hands on care, not so much the other stuff. It’s a new posting for me so I need to learn what all is required. There have been some restructuring with staff, and I’m looking forward to things getting back to normal.What do you enjoy doing most at Shanti?
Catching babies, of course!
Where would you like to see Shanti grow in terms of the services that it provides for the community?
I would like to see if we could provide cervical screening clinics here for women in Kasana. I would also like to see an increase in male involvement with their wives. Finally, I would like to increase the teenage sexual and reproductive health and contraception education outreach within the community. Currently we only work with them (the teens) during school breaks but it would be nice to do something more regularly throughout the year. Perhaps through the village health team – we will see.
What sort of Continuing Medical Education would you like to see for the staff at Shanti?
I think it would be good to have continuing education on 2nd and 3rd delivery stages, post-partum hemorrhage (PPH), and antepartum hemorrhage (APH).
Where did you grow up Sanyu?
I grew up in Mukono District and moved to Kampala when I was about 5 years old. I Graduated from S6 and then went to the Mango School of Nursing and Midwifery where I earned my certificates.