Mai Naeley's Clinic

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Mai Naeley
Mai Naeley is a traditional birthing attendant (TBA) practicing in a village around forty kilometres south of the capital city Lilongwe. The University of Strathclyde built a birthing clinic at Mai Naeley's to replace the building she was using - the building was dirty, dilapidated, dangerous and not fit for purpose. During recent visits we have become aware that the old building was being used by the "guardians" (women who nurse, feed and wash for the women giving birth - usually close relations or friends) to sleep in despite the obvious danger presented by the dilapidation.
Mae Naeley's Traditional Birthing Clinic, Malawi

The old building was knocked down by the villagers after the danger was pointed out to them - the consequence of this was that the guardians then slept inside the clinic. Considering that, at times, there may be a dozen or more guardians sometimes with children this has resulted in overcrowding and less than perfect conditions for delivery of babies - most of which are born at night.

Mae Naeley's Traditional Birthing Clinic, Malawi
Funds have been made available from the Malawi Millennium Project to build a shelter to be used by both Mai Naeley and the guardians. It will occupy the site of the dilapidated clinic and should be completed by the end of October 2012. The total cost of the building, and some minor repairs to the roof of the clinic, will be around £8,000.
The building contract was given to Mr Kanyinj who has worked with us before, constructing a computer room in Karonga St. Mary’s, for the Making Wonders project. (Mr. Kanyinji (in red t-shirt) pictured with some of the village Gule Wamkulu).
Gule Wamkulu at Mae Naeley's Traditional Birthing Clinic
The building work is now almost complete and will be handed over at the beginning of November. (Guardian’s shelter shown on the right of theis photograph next to the clinic building on the left.)
Mae Naeley's Traditional Birthing Clinic, Malawi