Safe-Motherhood And The Need To Curb Maternal Mortality
It is estimated that over half a million mothers die annually from childbirth, 3.2 million stillbirth and 4 million neo-natal deaths are recorded yearly.
It was even said that 800 women die in pregnancy every two minutes and that loss of a mother shatters a family and threatens the well being of surviving children. Infact, research has shown that infants whose mothers die are likely to die before their second birthday than infants their mothers survive. And worse still, for every woman who dies, 20 or more experience serious complications.
The same study indicates that of the thousands of women who die during pregnancy or childbirth, each year, 90 percent live in Africa.
The deaths are said to be caused by bleeding, infections, eclampsia, obstructed labour and the consequences of unsafe abortions.
International organizations, such as International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) have called for 75 percent reduction in maternal mortality.
These organizations even went ahead to suggest strategies on how to accomplish this task, which include, that all women should have access to contraception to avoid unwanted pregnancies, access to skilled care during childbirth and quality timely emergency obstetric care when complications develop, among others.
The UNFPA has also gone ahead to establish Maternal Health Thematic Fund to increase the capacity of national health system to provide a broad range of quality maternal health services, with a view to reducing health inequalities and empower women to exercise their rights to maternal health. The UNFPA did not stop there, it went on to partner with other bodies, such as UNICEF the World Bank, World Health Organization (WHO), UNAIDS and UNWOMEN to save the lives of women and newborns. The six agencies have pledged to support countries with the highest mortality rates in their plight.
As Safe Motherhood Initiative commemorates its 26th anniversary this year, it is expected that many countries must have improved the health and wellbeing of their mothers and newborns over these years.
The good news is that the past years have witnessed an improvement in maternal mortality from what it used to be. Though HIV/AIDS and malaria during pregnancy have also being alleged of increase mortality rate.
What are the solutions to this menace of high maternal mortality rate in our society; we suggest that having known the causes of this problem, it is only customary to tackle it headlong.
The situation mostly in the third world countries demand effective monitoring of the programmes in developing world pertaining to the eradication of death during pregnancy and childbirth. Again, the problem of addressing deteriorating infrastructure, increase quality drug stock, as well as tackling effective referrals during emergences in child delivery.
Considering the havoc caused by the incidence of untimely death amongst women of reproductive age, we suggest that government and other relevant agencies should intensify effects at ending this bad wind that blows nobody any good.
Lack of political will has always been a clog in the wheel of progress to curbing maternal mortality in the society and since the entire world has recognized the monster of childbirth and other related social malaise.
We therefore posit that everything possible should be done to eradicate or atleast minimize the scourge.
Time for action is now. ###