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Harpenden pensioner teams up with midwife and mobility scooter specialist to help women in Sierra Leone

PUBLISHED: 14:00 03 May 2019

Left to right: Daniel Salter from TGA with his new baby boy George, Harpenden's Rosalind Drysdale on her TGA mobility scooter and Helena White, senior midwife for South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Left to right: Daniel Salter from TGA with his new baby boy George, Harpenden's Rosalind Drysdale on her TGA mobility scooter and Helena White, senior midwife for South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Archant

A Harpenden pensioner has teamed up with her mobility scooter specialist to donate old wheelchairs to a Sierra Leone maternity charity.

Seventy-seven-year-old Rosalind Drysdale, a customer at TGA mobility, recently purchased a new TGA Breeze Midi 4 scooter from Daniel Salter, before mentioning she had several wheelchairs that were no longer of use.

As luck would have it, Daniel, who has recently become a father, remembered his senior community midwife from South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, Helena White.

She is the founder of charity The African Maternity Link, based in Sierra Leone.

Teaming up as a trio, the wheelchairs will now be shipped to areas of Sierra Leone where they are needed the most - such as in the capital Freetown and remote rural locations.

They will provide mobility for young African mothers who require extra care.

Sierra Leone is one of the most hazardous places in the world to have a baby and childbirth is fatal for, on average, one in 21 women.

According to The Guardian, latest statistics show the average number of maternal deaths between 2013 and 2015 in the UK was 67 each year.

Helena's charity provides onsite midwife training, data collection and clinical support in Sierra Leone.

Rosalind said: “The wheelchairs I have donated are not as modern, but I do hope they will make life a bit easier for mothers in Sierra Leone.

“We are so lucky here in the UK with the NHS.”

Mobility equipment can be in scarce supply in Sierra Leone with many people crafting wheelchairs from garden furniture and recycled wheels.

Helena White founded The African Maternity Link in 2012.

She said: “I can already see their faces light up when they sit in these wheelchairs and do not have to rely on homemade contraptions.

“My charity is always seeking redundant mobility equipment and medical supplies to aid with maternity, so please get in touch.”

For more information about how to donate, visit www.theafricanmaternitylink.co.uk

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