Female volunteers for Gynaecology Without Borders are providing urgent care for women in need
‘Dilva, 25, is seven months pregnant. Her blood group is Rh(D)- but her foetus’ is Rh(D)+. Her antibodies are attacking her foetus’ red blood cells. The baby has severe anaemia,” Edwige Prel is briefing her colleague Yohanna Depierre, who is driving an ambulance down the motorway to Grande-Synthe, a commune in the third-largest suburb of Dunkirk, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France.
Prel and Depierre are both midwives who have given up 14 days of annual leave to volunteer for Gynaecology Without Borders (known as Gynécologie Sans Frontières, GSF). Founded in 1995, the French non-profit organisation provides emergency medical aid to women affected by conflict, epidemics and natural disasters. GSF’s midwives and gynaecologists have worked on missions across the world, from Afghanistan and Bangladesh to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and, since 2015, in the Pas-de-Calais, France.