Making a real difference to women health.
The occasion is a lunch organised by the Cambridge branch of Wellbeing of Women, a charity set up in 1964 and dedicated to improving the health of women and babies worldwide, via medical research and better information.
The statistics they are working to improve are shocking.
In the UK alone 145 women a week will die of a gynaecological cancer, one in every two will suffer from some kind of reproductive or gynaecological health problems, 17 babies a day a will be stillborn or die soon after birth, and one in five pregnancies will end in miscarriage.
The charity raises funds to invest in medical research and the development of specialist doctors and nurses, and has been involved in many developments that are now commonplace – including cervical cancer screening, ultrasound scans, IVF and vitamin supplements in pregnancy.
The Cambridge branch was founded in 2000 by accountant Rosalind Wythe-Morgan, after she watched her mother die of ovarian cancer and then discovered that it affects more than 6,000 women every year. Last year it raised £10,000, with events including a lunch and a health seminar.
Current branch chairman is former Cambridge Chief Constable Julie Spence, who said she has supported the charity for many years.
“They played a key role in helping women in policing to further understand the issues that affected their health, and it is great to be able to continue my association with the charity.
“I welcome to our lunch, and to future events, anyone who shares our passion and wants to join us in raising money for this important and worthwhile cause.
“Wellbeing of Women unites women of all ages, together with their families, in the quest to support research into the broad spectrum of ailments that affect only women. It is a double win for women in Cambridge, as the charity also supports some of our scientists in undertaking groundbreaking work to improve the lives of women worldwide.”
This year’s guest speaker also has Cambridge links. Professor Lesley Regan, consultant and senior lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology at St Mary’s Hospital, London and director of the internationally recognised Recurrent Miscarriage Service, held posts at Addenbrooke’s Hospital earlier in her career and was also director of medical studies at Girton College.
She will be speaking on the Baby Bio Bank she has helped to found, a research project creating a pregnancy tissue archive which will be available to researchers into pregnancy complications, and also on “how to look after your health as a woman”.
She said: “Wellbeing of Women is the only charity dedicated to improving the health of women and babies at all ages of life, from cradle to grave.
“As a junior researcher at Addenbrooke’s in the late 1980s I was interested in how miscarriages occurred – the most common problem in pregnancy – and the charity funded some of my research.
“Since then I’ve been one of their ambassadors and am now a trustee.
“Nowadays I’m doing more work to promote women’s health and am trying to get women more proactive.”
The lunch will be held at the Crowne Plaza hotel on Monday, 5 March and will benefit research projects supported by Wellbeing of Women as well as an Addenbrooke’s Abroad project, based at the National Maternity Hospital in El Salvador.
Last year, the chairman of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Dr Mary Archer and consultant in materno-fetal medicine and obstetrics at the Rosie Hospital Dr Hannah Missfelder-Lobos, travelled to the Central American country to spend time at the maternity hospital.