Tales Of A Midwife – Sister Juliette
By: Vinussa Rameshshanker
“In those days before the ultrasounds, it was a blessing to be the first person to know what sex the mother was carrying…”
FullSoul is ever grateful for our partners who join us as we work together towards improving the state of maternal health in Uganda, which is why I would like to share with you the story of one of our valued partners and how she came to be the midwife she is today.
Meet Sister Juliette, the lovely woman in the photo with a beautiful smile who greets me warmly whenever I visit Kawolo Hospital. Kawolo Hospital has been one of FullSoul’s partnering healthcare facilities since 2014. Sister Juliette is the In-Charge Senior Midwife for the hospital’s maternity department. In fact, Sister Juliette has been working at Kawolo Hospital for 26 years now!
Let’s travel back to Sister Juliette’s childhood. Visiting hospitals for various reasons during her youth, Sister Juliette always knew that she was attracted to the purple uniforms worn by some of the healthcare workers she would see walking around the facilities. However, she never knew what the purple uniforms represented. And so one day, she decided to ask and she learned that the workers dressed in purple were actually midwives in training!
Sister Juliette’s interest and passion for midwifery stayed with her as she finished up secondary school and studied to receive a certificate in midwifery. To Sister Juliette, it is a blessing to be the first person to know the sex of the baby carried by the mother. As a midwife delivering a mother, you are granted the opportunity to reveal the secret of whether the mother would be receiving a new baby boy or baby girl – how incredible! This was true especially back in the day, when ultrasound scans were not as common. In fact, even in the current time, many mothers are still unable to receive an ultrasound prior to delivery due to many different reasons. For example, the mother may not have the funds for transport to a clinic with a scan, or nearby facilities may be lacking functioning ultrasound scan machines. Recognizing these circumstances where mothers may not be able to access the care that they need, it is the work of delivering newborns, helping mothers, and bringing new life into the world that brings Sister Juliette happiness every single day.
Each year, the number of patients served at Kawolo Hospital continues to grow. Without a doubt, Sister Juliette alongside the rest of the hospital’s staffing team will be there to continue supporting and fighting for healthier communities. It is clear that challenges exist in the working environment, such as the limited resources for providing care. However, after both listening to and observing these challenges firsthand during my internship with FullSoul, it is equally as clear that the work of staff at Kawolo Hospital as well as other public healthcare facilities in Uganda demonstrates nothing but resilience worthy of admiration.
On that note, let us take a moment today wherever you may be to thank and celebrate our partners who, like Sister Juliette, commit themselves daily to serving mothers, children, families, and communities to help build a stronger and healthier nation. Thanks for reading FullSoulers, until next time!