KHARTOUM (Sudanow) – On the occasion of the recently held first midwifery and nursing conference, Sudanow would like to commemorate the pioneering Sudanese women who paved the way for women to enter this field and saved lives of millions of mothers and their infants.
One of these women is Batoal Mohamed Iesa whose name was closely linked to modern midwifery history in Sudan. She was born in Rofa’a town of central Sudan in 1906 and graduated in Omdurman Midwifery School in 1924 and ever since devoted her entire life to this career. She had served women in very difficult situations at that time where trained midwives were rare and she had to use camels and donkeys to reach women in need in remote areas. In 1937 she became the first Sudanese woman ever to ride a bicycle, to carry out her job as midwife.
The Midwifery School’s British staff accredited Batoal as “she persevered, and against the odds, she proved to be the best Sudanese Staff Midwife with the Wolff Sisters”. Miss Kendall wrote about her “she is the most remarkable Sudanese midwife".
She became a Senior Staff Midwife in 1930 and later on the Principal of the School a matter that allowed her to encourage and recruit other women to join the profession. She had also trained scores of doctors, midwives and nurses at the School.
Batoal was known for her adequacy and dedication to her work a matter that gained her the title “Sit” ie an Arabized word for respectful women. She received many medals during her over 60-year career including one by the British Queen Mother in 1951 and a UN medal for long service.
She kept practicing in this field braving old age and illness till she died in 1998.
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