Record bid for midwives

Midwives signing a scroll which is touring the country to help raise funds to provide better midwifery care in developing countries. They are trying to get 10,000 signatures to get into the Guiness Book of Records'Pauline Gallagher, Zoe Perrow, Jo White
Midwives signing a scroll which is touring the country to help raise funds to provide better midwifery care in developing countries. They are trying to get 10,000 signatures to get into the Guiness Book of Records'Pauline Gallagher, Zoe Perrow, Jo White

A Guinness World Record bid to collect 10,000 signatures to help save the lives of mothers and babies came to Pontefract on Monday.

Midwives at Pontefract Hospital joined in a national bid to improve healthcare for women in developing countries by getting as many people as posible to sign the scroll as part of the Precious Cargo project.

The project, created by charity Motorcycle Outreach, works with health ministeries and local projects in developing countries to provide properly managed and maintained motorbikes for use by healthcare workers.

It means midwives will be able to provide more healthcare to people living in remote villages where road access is poor.

Zoe Perrow, 37, a student midwife at Pontefract, said: “There are midwives walking three-and-a-half hours to go to one woman, with motorbikes, they will be able to give more care to more patients.”

Student midwives and blood bikes, which transport blood needed for transfusion, are taking the scroll around the UK, before it goes around the world in its bid to collect enough signatures to get into the Guinness Book of World Records and raise £40,000 to buy the bikes.

Guinness has created a new category for ‘most signatures on a scroll’ based on the Precious Cargo initiative, and the project will be the first to set the world record.

During the scroll’s visit to Pontefract, midwives held a bake and sweet sale to help raise more cash for the project.

Mrs Perrow added: “I’ve nearly finished my training as a midwife, and I have three children of my own, so I just wanted to give something back.

“There’s about 6,000 signatures on the scroll at the moment, and we need 10,000 to get into the record books.”

The scroll was also taken to Pinderfields and Dewsbury hospitals to collect cash and signatures as part of the tour.

Mrs Perrow said: “One of the countries we are working in is Peru. Most women there don’t have any midwifery care, they have to go through it alone, so if we can get motobikes to midwives there, more women and babies will survive. Around the world, 800 women die of childbirth-related complications every day, many of which are avoidable, and those in rural areas are most at risk.”

Visit www.precious-cargo.org to find out more about the project and how to donate.