Frontier Nursing University (FNU) student Madeline Anderson, RN, BSN, CLC is answering the call to serve a population of rural, underserved mothers – a call she experienced while halfway across the world. In April of 2018, Madeline traveled to Yala, Kenya with the Matibabu Foundation on a medical mission trip. A nurse-midwifery student at FNU, Madeline served in the maternity unit at Yala Hospital helping new moms deliver their children.
She was dismayed to find out that women in Kenya have to bring their own supplies to the hospital for after delivering their child – things like a bar of soap and a baby blanket – and many of them can’t afford those basic supplies.
Madeline, an RN in Labor & Delivery at Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree, Colo., returned stateside with a burning desire to see the new moms properly provided for. With two young children of her own, Madeline understood the importance for women to have healthy birth and postpartum experiences regardless of their economic status. Together with her friend Kate, she opened Mama Packs for Kenya, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides supplies for these new moms.
The “mama packs,” which include: a roll of cotton, bar of soap, wash basin, baby blanket, plate, and cup, cost only $8-9 U.S. dollars to put together. Because Madeline works so closely with the Matibabu Foundation and the nurses at the Yala hospital, they are able to make all of the purchases for the packs in Kenya, saving on shipping and supporting the local economy.
Mama Packs for Kenya has had such a great response that the hospital in Yala is already receiving a surplus of packs. Madeline plans to expand into other local Kenyan hospitals with the help of the Matibabu Foundation.
Meanwhile, Madeline continues her FNU nurse-midwifery coursework. She is in CNEP class 158 and has found that her time at FNU has made her a more confident health care provider.
“My experience at Frontier has been awesome,” she said. “The classes have really helped with building my confidence.”
Madeline says having a better understanding of worldwide nursing and giving presentations in her classes prepared her for the opportunity to pass along her knowledge to many of the doctors and staff at Yala hospital.
“Before this I was really nervous to talk in front of people,” she said. “But while I was in Kenya, I was able to teach basic principles and resuscitation courses to the whole hospital staff. It’s really changing me from the nurse to the practitioner role.”
Madeline plans to pursue a DNP after completion of her MSN.
As Mama Packs for Kenya continues to grow, its biggest needs are monetary donations or volunteer hours. You can donate here, or learn more about volunteering here. You can also find Mama Packs for Kenya on Facebook and Instagram.
Due to poor staffing ratios, there is also a large need for nurses’ help in many Kenyan hospitals. If you are interested in using your nursing skills to serve the underserved in Kenya, contact Madeline.
Thank you, Madeline, for going above and beyond the call of service and representing FNU with excellence!
At the heart of Frontier Nursing University is a talented and diverse community of students, alumni, faculty, staff, Couriers and preceptors. Spotlight blogs feature members of our FNU community who are focused on the mission of educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to deliver quality health care to underserved and rural populations.