All posts tagged: Maternal Mortality

maternalhealth

The Vital Need for Data to Improve Maternal Health

Globally and daily, around 830 women die from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth – equivalent to nearly 35 women an hour. This results in over 300 000 maternal deaths each year – deaths that could be prevented if adequate care was provided. Skilled care before, during and after birth has been identified as one of the key strategies to reducing maternal deaths, a care that 25% of women still do not have access to. Bernice lives with her father and her four younger siblings in a small rural village in the north of Burundi. Her family, along with eight out of ten Burundians, live below the poverty line, and they depend fully on their household food crop production for their survival. Due to several droughts lately, they are currently facing severe food shortage. Bernice is pregnant with her first child, and even though she’s more than half way through her pregnancy, she hasn’t yet seen a doctor. She is severely malnourished, putting both her and her baby at an elevated risk of complications. Two years …

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#12 – Maternal Health Now: New Research from The Lancet

In this episode Julia Wiklander, Felogene Anumo and Zanele Mabaso introduce you to new research that was published just a few weeks ago in The Lancet’s Maternal Health Series. Girls’ Globe was in New York City at the launch of the series and Girls’ Globe blogger Zanele Mabaso from South Africa spoke with one of the authors, Dr. Oona Campbell, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The Maternal Health Series by the Lancet shines a light on the causes, trends, and prospects for maternal health in the current era of rapid demographic, epidemiological, and socioeconomic transition. It includes analysis of experiences from the past 25 years and shows us the growing threat to progress caused by poor quality care and inequity of access. The Lancet Maternal Health Series reveals great disparities in quality of care for women during pregnancy and childbirth. In the past 16 years we have seen amazing progress – where maternal deaths have fallen by nearly half (44%) since 1990, yet some countries and some groups of women saw …

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Maternal Mortality and Me: I Beat the Odds, But Many Women Don’t

This post was written by Denise Dunning, Founder and Executive Director of Rise Up – pictured here with Rise Up staff.  “Your blood pressure is running high, but we’ll watch it to make sure you don’t develop preeclampsia. You should be fine,” my doctor told me when I was 30 weeks pregnant with my third child. As I sat on the examining table, my palms started to sweat. This pregnancy had been a rough ride already – first trimester genetic testing showed that my baby had elevated risk of Down syndrome and I developed gestational diabetes during my second trimester. I lay awake worrying most nights, and still started most mornings with my head in the toilet. But all that, I had a feeling, would seem easy compared to the road ahead. My first two children were born without medical intervention, and now the prospect of an induction and related complications now loomed large in my mind. Working in the field of women’s health, I already knew all too well that the most dangerous thing …

Our daughter Maya in the making, with a month and a half to go. She turned out to be even prettier than she was as a pregnant belly :-)

The Mom Pod: A Global Village for mothers, fathers and caregivers

Today is a very exciting day for us at Girls’ Globe – we are launching our new production, The Mom Pod, a bi-weekly podcast series founded and hosted by Julia Wiklander and Emma Saloranta Winiecki, who both became mothers in late 2014. Emma and Julia were pregnant at the same time and during their pregnancies and after giving birth realized how many new, scary, weird, complicated, exciting, scary, wonderful, frustrating and amazing experiences and emotions they found themselves dealing with in daily basis. The Mom Pod is a space to explore those things, from a global vantage point. Through The Mom Pod we aim to create an open, judgement-free space for discussing a range of issues important to mothers, fathers, caregivers and other people interested in motherhood, babies and parenting.The Mom Pod will incorporate interviews, surveys and more to inform and raise awareness about issues relevant to mothers globally, bringing together research, data, hot topics on the media and personal stories and experiences of mothers from around the world. Follow and stay tuned for something exciting! …

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Revealing the Truth: Busting Abortion Myths

Stigma related to unwanted pregnancies and abortion places millions of women and girls at risk all over the world. Not only does stigma negatively impact women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights but it also personally interferes and restricts a woman, her right to freely access safe abortion health services, with fear of being scrutinized by community members in public.  In some situations stigmatization can be almost as dangerous and detrimental to women’s well-being and health as illegal abortion. Access to abortion is an integral part of social and reproductive justice and women have to be constantly reminded about their right to access safe abortion services at health care facilities that are made available to them. Stigma and discrimination which is fed by lack of accurate and adequate information, is often what leads to women and girls who opt for the termination of their pregnancies to undergo illegal and unsafe “back street” abortions, with the hope of attaining confidentiality – which leads to a number of health complications such as: Risk of contracting HIV and …

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The Most Vulnerable: Reaching Mothers and Newborns

By virtue of the fact that you’re reading this, you were one of a lucky few who made it through infanthood, chances are, alongside your mother. It is something we often take for granted. When we imagine our own babies being born, we might think, will my baby come out healthy? Will we know how to keep them safe? Have we bought the right crib, the right food? Will be we good parents? Our worries in the first hours, days and weeks of our child’s life are endless. Yet, some mothers do not have the luxury of more than one fear, the first and most fundamental: will my baby survive childbirth?  The world over, mothers and their babies are not so fortunate. The day of birth is the most dangerous day of life, and the provision of quality maternal and newborn healthcare is far from guaranteed. 800 women and 7,400 newborns still die each day from complications during pregnancy, childbirth and shortly after delivery. Another 7,300 women experience a stillbirth. It’s a problem that plagues countries both rich and …

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International Day to End Fistula

Obstetric fistula is a complicated term for a simple, devastating condition. Caused by prolonged labor or difficult births, obstetric fistula is a hole between the vagina and the rectum. When a baby’s head is pushed against the walls of the bladder or vagina during labor, it cuts off the blood supply to the area. In especially prolonged periods of labor, this lack of blood supply starves the tissue, killing it, and leaving holes. This, in turn, causes leakage of both urine and feces through the vagina. The effects of it go beyond discomfort. The labor itself can be grueling – according to the Fistula Foundation, 75% of the women afflicted have endured labor of three days or more. Miscarriages often happen, adding emotional tragedy at the outset. After childbirth, many women are shunned for the odor caused by incontinence, abandoned by their husbands and forced out of their homes. Highlighting the tragedy of each case, The New York Times ran a piece on Mahabouba Mohammed, an Ethiopian woman who was raped at age 13. After …

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My Mother’s Day Gift

By Elisa Gambino In the spring of 2013, my husband, Neal Broffman, and I visited Gondar University Hospital in Ethiopia with partners Fistula Foundation and Johnson & Johnson. We interviewed and filmed the work that they are supporting to treat women suffering from obstetric fistula, an injury caused by prolonged, obstructed labor that renders a woman incontinent until she can access reparative surgery. This is an injury that can ruin a woman’s life. The constant smell from her incontinence too often prompts her husband to leave or community to abandon her, relegating her to a life of shame and isolation – for doing nothing more than try to bring a child into this world. Woman who are poor cannot access skilled care because they live in remote areas or they don’t know that they should go to a clinic to deliver. The first fistula patient I met was Workinesh, who was at the hospital to receive surgery to repair her fistula. Workinesh was with her daughter, who was my daughter Sofia’s age at the time. …

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Midwives Matter. But will SDG’s deliver?

Fact: Every day, approximately 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.  This accounts to 289,000 women per year. Fact: Every year 3 million infants die in the first month of life. Among those, nearly 3/4 die in their first week, and 1/3 die on their day of birth. Fact:  Midwives that are educated and regulated to international standards can provide 87% of the essential care needed for women and newborns. Fact: Today, only 22% of countries have potentially enough adequately educated midwives to meet the basic needs of the world’s women and newborns. Yesterday was the International Day of the Midwife.  The theme for this year is “Midwives: for a better tomorrow.” It reminds us of the critical role of midwives in creating a brighter future for mothers, babies, and families.  Continued progress and sustainable development will not be a reality unless mothers and babies survive and thrive.  Investment in midwives is fundamental in accelerating progress toward these goals. -Frances Ganges, Chief Executive International Confederation of Midwives We are only months away …

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Jacaranda Health: Making Pregnancy and Childbirth Safer for Women in Kenya

I t’s a big month for women’s health and rights as advocates and world leaders gathered earlier in March at the UN in New York City to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 1995 Beijing World Conference on Women; and the Beijing Platform for Action which gave rise to actions to improve the lives of women and girls around the world. The platform highlighted 12 key areas to address. Why are these issues important to Jacaranda Health? One of those areas is “Women and Health” because, as UN Women notes, “Women need to be healthy in order to realize their full potential.” It’s been repeated many times but 289,000 women die every year from complications related to pregnacy and childbirth; most of those complications (including postpartum hemorrhage, and high-blood pressure during pregnancy) are preventable with access to skilled health providers and an improvement in the quality of care currently accessible to most women in developing countries.  Jacaranda Health builds maternity hospitals for these women and newborns and offers patient-centered, respectful, high quality health care from pregnancy through to postpartum (including …