Kate Middleton Interviews 'Amazing' Midwife in Emotional Video Call
"Hopefully one day I can come and see your amazing work first-hand," Kate told Harriet Nayiga, who is a midwife in Uganda
Kate Middleton is asking the big questions.
The mom of three marked International Day of the Midwife and the completion of the Nursing Now campaign by sharing her interview with Harriet Nayiga, a nurse and midwife who founded MILCOT (Midwife-led Community Transformation), a community organization providing advice and support for vulnerable women and girls in Uganda.
The interview, which took place in March, was published in the May issue of Nursing Times. Kate even had a hand in selecting the magazine's cover.
Kate, 39, asked Harriet about why she became a midwife, the role of midwives in Uganda and the increased toll the coronavirus pandemic has had on healthcare workers around the world.
"MILCOT is such a fantastic initiative. Was it your idea?" Kate asked.
"Yes, it was my idea; it was my vision," Harriet said. "Five years back I worked with an organization taking care of pregnant teenagers in crisis. I was caring for them day and night as a house mother and a midwife. I comforted them because many of them felt stigmatized. Through this, I realized the challenges these girls were going through – I was sharing them."
She continued, "I would hug a young girl who is facing challenges – she's crying, she was raped, she's 10 years old. She's seeing me as the mother, the sister, as everything – so I was caught up in the pain. I trained them in economic resilience, but that induced me to go back to school to learn how I can solve some of the challenges that they face."
Kate also learned that like other areas around the world, the mental well-being of mothers has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Harriet shared that they have group therapy sessions and help women set up small scale businesses to support themselves.
"Hopefully one day I can come and see your amazing work first-hand," Kate said before saying goodbye. "It's so fantastic that organizations like MILCOT are on a global stage, being able to share their best practice. You should feel hugely proud of all the hard work and effort that goes into it. I can see your passion and dedication."
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Kate has long been a supporter of midwives. She wrote a touching letter to the community of midwives following her secret visit to a maternity ward at a London hospital in 2019.
"You are there for women at their most vulnerable; you witness strength, pain and unimaginable joy on a daily basis," the royal mom of three wrote in a letter that begins "Dear Midwives" and is signed "Catherine."
She also developed a personal relationship with a midwife who helped welcome Princess Charlotte into the world.
Over the last three years more than 31,000 young professionals have signed up for Nursing Now's Nightingale Challenge, 64 Nursing Now groups have reported increased investment in nursing and there has also been an increase of nurses in leadership positions, as Chief Nursing Officers and on boards, who are able to exercise greater influence in shaping policy and service delivery.
Kate has her own family ties to the Red Cross, with both her great-grandmother Olive Middleton and grandmother Valerie Middleton having served as Red Cross nurses during World War I and World War II, respectively.
"Like you and many others, they are both part of the rich history of the British Red Cross, which is helping to ensure many people get the support they need during a crisis," Kate said in a letter last year. "In recent months, I have been deeply moved by the work you and your colleagues have continued to do throughout the coronavirus pandemic. You have all been doing an inspiring job supporting vulnerable people."