In continuation of our celebration in the run up to#InternationalWomensDay, Baby Hero is shining the spotlight on women in medicine who have persevered through the archaic inequalities of their time, and gone on to make significant contributions to women and children’s health.
Dr. Virginia Apgar (1909–1974) designed and introduced the Apgar Score, the first standardized method for evaluating a newborn's transition to life outside the womb. Dr. Apgar was also the first woman to become a full professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Today, the Apgar Score is a standard test to predict neonatal survival and neurological development.
Dr. Hawa Abdi (born 1947) was 13 when her mother died of childbirth delivering her seventh child. Dr. Hawa is Somalia’s first woman gynecologist and spent the last 29 years providing a safe haven for the displaced, turning her tiny one-room shack in Mogadishu into a 400 bed hospital, and her 1,300-acre farm into a refugee camp where 90,000 displaced Somalis received free food, free health care, and a clean place for women to give birth. Since its establishment in the early 1980s, the complex has served an estimated 2 million. In 2012, Abdi was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Dr. Maria Montessori (1870 –1952) graduated from medical school in 1896 and was among Italy’s first female physicians. Utilizing scientific observation and experience gained from her earlier work with young children, Maria designed learning materials and a classroom environment that fostered the children’s natural desire to learn. Through her efforts and the work of her followers, Montessori education has been adopted worldwide.
To read more about lives and achievements of women in medicine, consider checking out ‘Changing the face of medicine’http://www.nlm.nih.gov/changingthefaceofmedicine/exhibition/
To support the continuing work that needs to be done for infant and women’s health, consider shopping our collection of ethically made baby clothes at www.babyhe.ro