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Bishop’s trek will help the women of Africa
A GROUP of intrepid fund-raisers, including a bishop from the Diocese of Worcester, have scaled Africa’s highest mountain.
The 13-strong group, featuring Bishop of Dudley the Rt Rev David Walker, took five days to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, which stands at almost 20,000 feet.
So far, their fund-raising collection stands at more than £10,000, which will be donated to the maternity wing of a hospital in Berega, which is in the Morogoro region of Tanzania, in a bid to reduce the number of mothers who are dying during childbirth.
“When we were over there we heard stories of women in the latter stages of pregnancy who were trying to walk around 25 miles to get to hospital,” said Bishop Walker.
“As you can imagine, the mortality rate is quite high.
“We’ve raised more than £10,000 so far and hopefully this will go towards saving the lives of more mothers.”
The walking team included members from Malvern and Feckenham and their age ranged from 18 to 69.
Bishop Walker said the journey tested the body, particularly given the altitude changes and disparate temperatures, which dipped below zero at night.
“We were closer to the height that planes fly at than sea level,” he said. “There’s only half the oxygen.”
Speaking before he went, one of the group’s members, the Rev Canon John Green, chairman of the World Church Links task group for the Diocese of Worcester, said the cause was vitally important.
“The numbers of women who die in child birth in Tanzania are absolutely shocking,” he said. “We want to raise funds to enable medical officers at Berega Hospital in Morogoro to develop their skills in caring for mums whose babies are delivered at the hospital, so that there are fewer deaths.”
It is hoped that, off the back of the trek, a regular link will be set-up between consultants in the UK and Tanzania.
The Morogoro region has a population of about 1.7million. The Diocese of Worcester has had a partnership link with the Anglican Diocese of Morogoro since September 2010.
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