Tuesday 25 April 2017

Red Nose Convoy comedians tell of joy at seeing baby born safely on Africa trip

Screengrab taken from video issued by Comic Relief of Russell Kane and Katy Brand during a charity trip across East Africa
Screengrab taken from video issued by Comic Relief of Russell Kane and Katy Brand during a charity trip across East Africa
Russell Kane is part of the Red Nose Convoy making its way across East Africa to deliver supplies for Comic Relief

Russell Kane and Katy Brand have told of their joy about a baby being born safely at a health centre on the first day of a charity trip across East Africa, during which they are delivering crucial supplies for Comic Relief.

Dubbed the Red Nose Convoy, the comedians - with Bafta-winning actress Michaela Coel and TV stars Hugh Dennis, David Baddiel and Reggie Yates - are travelling hundreds of miles from Kenya to Uganda.

The mission is to distribute essential equipment to help Comic Relief-funded projects continue life-saving health work.

The stars are driving through tough terrain and in challenging conditions in pairs as vital outriders guiding the convoy to ensure the supplies reach their destinations.

Speaking to the Press Association while on their trip, Kane and Brand said highlights have been the birth and being able to witness the speedy use of the equipment donated at an Amref health centre in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

Brand said: "I didn't personally see (the birth). Michaela was in the room so I can't wait to see that footage. I've heard all about it from her, it's just going to be astonishing.

"I met that pregnant lady when she was in labour earlier in the day, and the whole thing unfolded on camera and Michaela was in the room when the baby was born."

The comedy star added that another highlight was meeting a midwife who was overjoyed to be given an ultrasound machine for the first time in her decades-long career.

She said: "T he highlight for me so far has definitely been meeting Virginia. I thought she was just such a cool woman.

"And to be there when she had her ultrasound machine delivered... In 30 years of being a midwife she got to do her first ultrasound. Watching that happen... she was so excited to do that."

Kane said: "The birth was definitely a highlight but seeing the way the beds arrived, were put up and instantly used: they'd barely attached a stirrup and there was a leg in it and a baby flying out," he said.

Aided by Comic Relief, Amref Health Africa - the largest health development non-governmental international organisation on the continent - is working in two of Kenya's biggest slums to help at-risk pregnant women and their babies.

Comic Relief's work includes helping to train hundreds of community health workers so they can provide improved care for pregnant women and their newborn babies, as well as people with HIV in the slums.

The celebrities are travelling from Kenya to the Tororo District in Uganda on their six-day journey, visiting a number of healthcare projects funded by the UK charity, which has raised over £1 billion since its inception in 1985.

The Red Nose Convoy's journey can be followed live on the Red Nose Day social media channels, including Twitter accounts @RedNoseDay and @ComicReliefNews, live at rednoseday.com/convoy and also by tuning in to BBC Breakfast and The One Show for updates.

:: Red Nose Day returns on March 24.

Press Association

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