Helping save mothers and babies lives through practical learning

Hands On For Mothers and Babies is a small intensely practical charity which aims, through the use of film and interactive media such as simple games and mobile technology, to help reduce the unimaginable number of mothers and babies who die from avoidable pregnancy-related conditions or social circumstances every year. 

Estimates put the number of mothers, and new-born babies who are stillborn or who die shortly after birth because of maternal ill health, at nearly 7 million deaths every year. Many would be averted if mothers, their communities and health care workers, understood the root causes of maternal and new-born death or disability and took the necessary simple steps to avoid these unnecessary and silent tragedies.

Maternal health is not just a matter of accessing high quality care from trained workers but is also a human rights issue.  Most mothers who die are illiterate, malnourished and live in poverty; more than half have no skilled care during pregnancy or birth. By simple teaching methods such as board games or mobile phone applications that can be used at the local level to educate women, families, communities and local health care workers the key issues can be taught in an attractive and interactive way. More sophisticated techniques and games can be developed to train or update health care workers and also act as advocacy tools around the world.

As a first step, Hands On has developed and made available to all international organisations concerned with maternal and newborn health, and health care workers an updated version of the seminal film Why Did Mrs X Die. This film is still in huge demand throughout the world today and has been one of the most practical teaching materials used for the last thirty years to train midwives and doctors. The updated version can be seen on our home page.  It can be accompanied by our simple training board game, Walking With Mrs X, to be used either in conjunction with, or apart from, the film itself.

The work and vision of Hands On is supported by many organisations involved in promoting safe maternity and new-born care including FIGO, WHO ICM RCM and RCOG

The charity, which is also supported by leading figures in the film and media industry, many of whom will give their services for free, aims to ensure all its available resources are put to beneficial and practical use in an ethical and transparent manner. It will keep its management as small, reactive and effective as possible and will channel its funds into tangible outputs and products of extremely high quality.  It also plans to evaluate the impact of its work through research and eventual publication in scientific peer reviewed journals.