Vision Maternity Care - A new hospital for Ethiopia - WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW




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Pregnancy and birth is a time of joy in the first world. It is not the same in the developing countries of the world, particularly in the remote and poor areas of Africa such as Tanzania and Ethiopia where birth can still be a matter of life and death.

The Barbara May Foundation (BMF) was established in 2009 to honour Barbara May Browning and the values she stood for by supporting the work of her daughter Valerie Browning AM, and her grandson Dr Andrew Browning, in providing a network of sustainable maternal healthcare in developing countries in Africa. By training local health workers and improving and increasing the availability of maternity hospitals, the Foundation aims to decrease the high incidence of poor and rural women and babies who die, or who are injured during childbirth.

Many of the women cared for through projects funded by the BMF have never had access to medical or maternal healthcare.

In 2012, Dr Andrew Browning was asked by the Amhara Regional Health Bureau to build a maternity hospital in Barhirdar, a large regional centre in Ethiopia with a population of 300,000. For this purpose they gave him a rundown health centre to convert.

Called the Vision Maternity Care hospital, this project has been funded to date by the Barbara May Foundation and has been implemented in three phases.

Phase One and Two are complete and the 12 bed temporary unit (affectionately referred to as the cowshed as it is literally a tin shed!) delivers on average 160 women per month with only one maternal death in the past 18 months, far below national averages. News of the unit has spread and Andrew and his team are now having to turn women away and can only take the most urgent cases.

The need for the new hospital is now acute and has become a major fundraising focus for the Barbara May Foundation due to the overwhelming need.


In this picture a woman is receiving an emergency caesarean by Dr Andrew Browning in the temporary operating theatre. Without this free medical assistance, her and her baby were in real danger of dying. By coming to the Vision Maternity Care hospital, both mother and child were fine.

A total of AUD$400,000 is required to build the new hospital and is our target. Your donation will save lives. All donations of $2 or more are tax deductible. You can make a secure donation by credit card, billpost, Bpay or cheque through the Foundation website and you will be issued with a tax deductible receipt.

If you would like further information about how you can help, please call the Foundation General Manager, Joanne Crowley on 0412 446 969 or email her on