Refers to the health of women during their pregnancy, whilst giving birth and post partum (post delivery).
According to the World Health Organization 287,000 women died in pregnancy and childbirth in 2010 and has increased to
Astonishingly nearly all these deaths could’ve been prevented. Women shouldn’t been dying in childbirth, words can barely express this sad waste of life.
800 women a day die in pregnancy or childbirth and of that number over 50% of the women are from Sub Saharan Africa.
Approximately 99% of maternal deaths occur in the world’s poorest countries and a higher number of these women are from rural areas.
Pregnant girls under the age of 15 years are at a much higher risk of Maternal Mortality. Increased adolescent pregnancies occur in areas where the girls come from poor backgrounds with little to no education.
The 4 biggest contributing factors leading to Maternal Mortality:
1. Post partum haemorrhage (severe bleeding)
2. Pre eclampsia & eclampsia (high blood pressure and fitting)
4. Unsafe abortions
(Life for African Mothers supplies medication to decrease death from severe bleeding and eclampsia).
The solution for preventing unnecessary deaths in pregnancy is to offer adequate maternity care during the entire pregnancy, on giving birth and as follow up. Here at Life for African Mothers we are trying to bridge the gap and save the lives of pregnant women in Sub Saharan Africa.
(World Health Organization 2010)
Maternal Health Successes
Access to adequate and skilled healthcare before and after giving birth helps save the lives of women and their babies. Over the last 20 years Maternal Mortality in Sub Saharan Africa has decreased by over 50%.
Millennium Development Goals (MGDs):
In 2000 the 8 Millennium Goals were born. 189 countries made a declaration to help relieve people from extreme poverty and multiple social, economic and environmental deficits by 2015.
MGD Number 5: Maternal Health Care
1. Decrease the Maternal Mortality ratio by ¾
2. Increase the proportion of births attended by skilled and trained attendants/midwives
3. Achieve universal access for women to reproductive services
-increase the use of contraception globally
-decrease the adolescent birth rate
-increase family planning resources/services
-improve antenatal services
(United Nations Development Programme 2007)
Post Partum Haemorrhage
Post Partum Haemorrhage is severe bleeding following delivery. It is categorised as the excess blood loss of greater than around 1 pint of blood. Major post partum haemorrhage (PPH) sees blood loss of twice this amount with 24 hours of giving birth.
PPH is one of the leading causes of Maternal Mortality in both developed and developing countries. Tragically there are more deaths from PPH in Africa where medical facilities and medication to control bleeding are often lacking.
Download LfAM international leaflet on PPH.
Due to the low cost and stability of Misoprostol it is a medication that is widely used in the developing world to prevent and treat Post Partum Haemorrhage (World Health Organization 2009).