Most maternal deaths are preventable. The maternal health care solutions to prevent or manage complications are quite straightforward.
All women need access to professional antenatal care in pregnancy, skilled care during childbirth, and care and support in the weeks after childbirth.
Maternal health and newborn health are closely linked. Globally, an estimated 2.7 million babies die in the neonatal period annually, and of these, about 0.7 million die from intrapartum-related events. In Tanzania, where Maternity Africa is located, estimates suggest that 51,000 newborn deaths and 43,000 stillbirths occur every year. Approximately two-thirds of these deaths could be potentially prevented with improvements in intrapartum and neonatal care. Routine measurement of fetal intrapartum deaths and newborn deaths that occur in health facilities can help to evaluate efforts to improve the quality of intrapartum care to save lives. You can read more about perinatal deaths in Tanzania here.
It is therefore particularly important that all births are attended by skilled health professionals. This is because timely management and treatment can make the difference between life and death for both mother and baby.
Severe bleeding after birth can kill a healthy woman within hours if she is not attended by a professional health worker. Medication given immediately after childbirth effectively reduces the risk of bleeding.
Infection can be eliminated if good hygiene is practiced and if early signs of infection are recognized and treated.
Pre-eclampsia can be detected and managed with medication before the onset of eclampsia (convulsions and other life-threatening complications).
To avoid maternal deaths, all women, including adolescents, need education and access to family planning and prenatal, childbirth and postnatal care from professional healthcare workers. Maternity Africa provides such care.