Maternity is a department within a hospital, or a hospital dedicated to childbirth and the care of newborns.

However, there is more to maternity than just a room or the wing of a hospital because it refers to motherhood. Motherhood is life-long, and for most women, it is a joyful occupation, but it can be dangerous. It carries risk for mother and child.

There are broadly speaking, three factors affecting the outcome of emergencies related to pregnancy and childbirth.

(1) Awareness of danger and choosing to seek help

(2) Access to a place equipped to deal with the threat

(3)  Access to people who are skilled in dealing with the threat.

EMAS Canada is working with local communities in Haiti, Burkina Faso, and Zimbabwe to address these factors.

God is moving Zimbabweans to work on His Plan

RCZ Highfield Church Harare co-funded local experts to train Gutu Mission Hospital (GMH) staff and several others from government hospitals that refer patients to GMH. Everyone serving maternity attended: the grounds man, the chaplain; administration, security, and catering staff; lab technologists, pharmacy staff, and doctors, midwives, and nurses.

The goal: Give mothers access to people who have the skills, and appropriate attitudes in dealing with emergencies related to pregnancy and childbirth.

With the leadership of the Synod Office and GMH staff, EMAS Canada was privileged to come alongside local trainers at a conference on Emergency Obstretric and Neonatal Care at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel in Masvingo this fall.

Some members of the GMH infrastructure technical design team. L-R:  Gedion Mukorombindo Quantity Surveyor, Dr. Peter Agwa, Rev Pandasvika (RCZ Moderator), Solomon Madondo Team Chair (standing), Claudius Kurauvone Architect, and Raymond Musungwa Monitoring and Evaluation. This photo in Harare was taken before we were joined by another team member, Prof Sarah Feresu Environmental and Waste Management.

An infrastructure technical team has worked pro bono for the past two years laying the groundwork for a comprehensive obstetric emergency hospital in rural Zimbabwe. The success of our fundraising Ride for Gutu Mission Hospital in September (Dec 2022 EMASSARY p4), and the overwhelming support of Zimbabwean doctors and nurses at the recent conference confirm that God has a plan to reduce the risk of maternity in Gutu District.

Jesus honored maternity in the way He chose to come to us and with His last breath delegated Mary’s care to a trusted friend. We, His followers, have an opportunity to improve the wellbeing of mothers-to-be and their newborns.

Learn more about EMAS initiatives and how you can participate.

Burkina Faso



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All Scripture references are taken from the New International Version (NIV)

Feature image: Neonatal care training at the November 2022 Medical Conference in Zimbabwe

A physician and surgeon in his native Kenya, Peter has a passion for Christ-centred healthcare and has a wealth of experience both hosting and sending short-term mission teams.


Executive Director’s Blog