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The Birthing in Gambia (BIG) Project


The BIG Project is a partnership between Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) and the international medical charity Maternal and Childhealth Advocacy International (MCAI) – and its partner Advanced Life Support Group (ALSG)

SI Malta has contributed funds raised to this project, which has several elements

Reference Textbook

Following requests from health workers in low resource settings, MCAI have co-ordinated with over 100 experts from around the world to write an in-depth practical text book, which covers all aspects of hospital care for pregnant women and girls, newborn infants and children and addresses the full range of possible illnesses and injuries and includes complications of pregnancy and delivery.

Labour ward

Brikama Hospital serves a population of 250,000 and each month, around 600 women give birth there.  The new 10-bedded labour ward extension is now complete and equipped, providing a safe environment for women to give birth.

Around 1400 women deliver every year at Essau Hospital, which is separated from Brikama by a 7 mile estuary.   Using local workers and materials, the refurbishment of the maternity unit has been completed.

A vital supply of emergency drugs to enable these units to function has also been supplied.


An Ultrasound Scanner has been installed in the unit at Brikama, thanks to the memorial fund for Margaret Lovell, a late member of SI Winchester and District.

SI Malta

Members of SI Malta knitted white woollen squares, which were taken to SIGBI’s project liaison officer, Rita Allen in the UK, to be sewn into blankets for the project.

Currently we are looking at the possibility of collecting unwanted mobile phones and donating them.

Total funds raised by SIGBI clubs

The total raised by SIGBI so far for The BIG Project is in excess of £106,704.95.