Welcome to the blog of me, Dr Sophia Webster, an Obstetrician flying across sub-Sahara between August and November.
‘You’re doing what? Flying across sub-Sahara in a single-engine aeroplane? You must be kidding me??!’
Concerned voices continue to ask: ‘What will happen if your engine fails – where might you be? Will you find fuel at every stop? How about mechanical issues that mean you need to miss out some planned destinations? Personal safety and security? Unexpected rain and thunderstorms? How will you keep to your route?’
All very insightful questions each deserving much thought and planning. That’s what I’ve been doing for over a year now alongside my Obstetric ‘day job’ in the hospital. Minimising the risks for me, and maximising the impact that Flight For Every Mother will have on the profile of women’s reproductive health around the world.
Woman = Femme = Mujer = Mulher = Mwanamke = المرأة. ‘A female human typically capable of giving birth.’ But let’s not underestimate that they are so much more. Women are kind; they are peacemakers. They have family and community at the centre of their worlds as they nurture the next generation and care for those before them. Very often opportunistic spirits shine through.
But our women endure a heavy burden. They are much more likely to die than men because they bear children. And when a woman dies her family suffers. They lose their backbone.
And so I keep telling myself constantly: the risks of this journey for me are nothing compared to the risks that most sub-Saharan African women face when they become pregnant. There’s really no comparison. So I’m going!