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Parallel lives of midwives delivering life with and without water by WaterAid

International development charity WaterAid has launched an engaging interactive dual-narrative film featuring One Born Every Minute midwife Delia Jepson at work in Liverpool Women’s Hospital, and midwife Juliana Msoffe in Kiomboi hospital in rural Tanzania.  The film gives a window into the parallel worlds of the midwives, with the aim of highlighting the challenge of delivering babies in a maternity ward which is among the 42 per cent of healthcare facilities in Africa without safe water.

Produced by WaterAid’s in-house production team, the film allows the audience to be in control of the narrative and continuously switch between the worlds of the midwives during a typical shift; working under conditions that are worlds apart. The film is to support WaterAid’s Deliver Life appeal, where every £1 given by the UK public by the 10th February will be doubled by the UK Government, so WaterAid can reach twice as many mums around the world.

At the click of a button viewers can view Delia on shift at Europe’s busiest maternity ward – made famous by Channel 4’s One Born Every Minute – using modern water bath facilities amongst a whole team supporting women giving birth in a clean and safe environment. By switching to Juliana, viewers are transported to a maternity ward which lacks a reliable source of clean, safe water and sanitation, as she attends to the women by herself whilst carefully rationing the limited water which is stored in a water butt on the ward.

Scenes of maternity bags being brought to the hospital by relatives in Liverpool are juxtaposed with heavy jerry cans of water being carried by expectant mums and family members in Tanzania.  Delia’s team easily maintain sterile equipment, wash down labour beds, provide clean sheets and make tea in-between deliveries.  In contrast, relatives in Kiombioi have no choice but to trek to the river to collect water for women to wash with and drink, stored in bowls that collect dust and dirt.

Despite the dramatically different conditions the film also captures the universal joy of childbirth, and how the midwives are united in offering the best care, support and comfort they can provide to women in labour.

To donate visit Deliver Life at WaterAid.

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