Reducing Maternal Mortality Through Safe Delivery

Health Experts advise that the safest way for expectant mothers to have safe deliveries and avoid maternal and neonatal death is by visiting health facilities.

Reducing Maternal Mortality Through Safe Delivery
Medair staff member taking the blood pressure of a mother who delivered her baby in the Medair clinic[Photo| Medair]

By Jok P Mayom

JUBA, 23 April 2016 [Gurtong]- Improving the health of mothers and new borns is a global top development priority that South Sudan can also do to help in the reduction of the maternal neonatal deaths.

Dr. Mamude Dinkiye, Medical Doctor at Action African Help – International (AAH-I) said most of the maternal and neonatal problems that are preventable in the hospital happens in the rural areas and so it is important to deliver in a health facility.

Dr. Mamude said that some of the problems that an expectant mother may face while delivering at home includes severe bleeding after childbirth, infection, and high blood pressure during pregnancy of which may be fatal.

“For South Sudan” Dr. Mamude said the young nation has the highest deaths of pregnancy related complications of mothers and babies compared to the rest of the world.

He said, in every 1,000 live births, 101 infants die and for every 100,000 pregnant mothers who deliver safely, 2054 die each year.

On the other hand, Dr. Mamude appreciated the effort exerted by the National Ministry of Health and Partners in fighting maternal mortality.

“Between 1990 and 2013, the number of women who died each year during pregnancy or childbirth decreased from 523,000 to 289,000, and the number of children younger than age five who died each year decreased from 12.7 million to 6.3 million” he said.

“According to the United Nations’’ Dr. Mamude said, a woman dies every two minutes of pregnancy-related complications. Most of these deaths—99 percent—occur in developing countries, and most could have been prevented.

Gurtong also spoke to Stella Mujo Simon, a midwife working for International Medical Corps (IMC) and said “When mothers deliver at home, they are exposed to risk of infection from diseases as well as complications since their places are not sterilized or disinfected”.

Both experts said, at the hospital unlike homes, there are sterilized instruments that are used, good attendance by skilled birth attendants and safe environment for delivery.

Additionally, Mujo said hospital visitation during pregnancy for the antenatal care (ANC) has great impact in helping early detection of the complications and enable better diagnoses before they grow bigger.

Antenatal care is one of the key strategies for reducing maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality directly through detection and treatment of pregnancy related illness, or indirectly through detection of women at risk of complications of delivery and ensuring that they deliver in a suitably equipped facility.

Expert says the purpose of ANC is to care for pregnant mothers and to have all births attended by trained personnel, and to identify pregnancies where risk is high and provide special care for the mother and the infant.

Maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality have continued to be a major problem in developing countries in which South Sudan is part despite efforts to reverse the trend.

Globally, more than 500,000 mothers die each year from pregnancy related conditions, and neonatal mortality accounts for almost 40% of the estimated 9.7 million children under-five deaths (UNICEF, 2009).

Mr. Jeremiah Puot Majak, Health Worker for the IMC on his part said that his team is conducting an awareness campaign in the communities to teach the local population the importance of visiting health centres for delivery as well as for the other medical attentions.

“We move from house to house to sensitized people on how to take care, follow up of pregnancy check by visiting the health centres for ANC” said Majak.

Mujak explained the importance of ANC in that; it’s the main priority, not only to diagnose the pregnant mothers but also give additional supplementation for the better growth of the babies in the womb.

“Apart from pregnancy check, we also give folic acid and ferrous iron to help in building the spines of the babies” she said.

The health professionals advised that husbands should also play a vital role in telling and
accompanying their wives to the health facilities for ANC services.

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