Excerpts from The Epoch Times website
Every day, 2,300 children under 5 and 145 women of childbearing age die in Nigeria, making the country the second-largest contributor to the under-5 and maternal mortality rate in the world, according to UNICEF statistics. This situation is particularly painful since most of those deaths could have been avoided with simple, low-cost interventions.
Although recent trends show that the country has made progress in reducing infant and under-5 mortality rates, it will still be unable to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of reducing child mortality by two-thirds by 2015. At the same time, the deaths of newborn babies—the majority of which occur in the first week of life—represent 25 percent of the total deaths of children under 5 in the country.
Although there are wide regional disparities in child health indicators, the northeast and northwest zones of the country have the worst child survival and maternal mortality figures in the country. Malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, and measles are among the preventable or treatable infectious diseases that account for more than 70 percent of under-5 deaths in Nigeria.
Read more at http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/327853-improving-maternal-and-child-health-in-northern-nigeria/?photo=2
From Figo.com website.
A group of organisations in Uganda have vowed to improve the country’s maternal mortality rates through the implementation of a new programme.
The Coalition to Stop Maternal Mortality in Uganda has cited funding issues regarding the provision and staffing of medical care as the reason for the lack of progress in reducing the problem.
Robinah Biteyi is a representative from the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, one of 50 organisations to sign up to the initiative.
More at http://www.figo.org/news/uganda-rallies-combat-maternal-deaths-0011665
Clearly this is a leaf all our governments need to borrow.
Excerpts from AllAfrica website.
Both the Chairman of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Population and Development and the House’s Majority Leader have subscribed their willingness to play an integral part in the advocacy on maternal health in their respective constituencies.
Speaking during an advocacy retreat on reproductive maternal newborn and child health organized by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, in collaboration with Mamaye and the United Nations Fund for Population (UNFPA) in Freetown, Hon. Ibrahim Bundu and Hon. Sheku B.B. Dumbuya commended the organizers for the initiative and referred to the retreat as timely and significant.
The two senior lawmakers also registered their commitment to assist in the training, mobilization and retention of skilled birth attendants and to advocate for more funds, ambulances, feeder roads construction, as well as monitoring the delivery of drugs to various hospitals.
More at http://allafrica.com/stories/201310220948.html
We first heard of Esther Madudu in 2011 as we started working on WinSenga. Even back then, it was inspiring. Below are excerpts that should make for some interesting read,
Excerpts from The Lacent website.
Esther Madudu has delivered babies at night by the light of a mobile phone held in her mouth, in the absence of electric light in the health centre in rural Uganda where she is a senior midwife. Sterilising equipment for reuse is a chore because everything must be boiled and that means a trip to the well for water. But Madudu, who works harder than most of us and under constant pressure, has a satisfaction in her work that few can match, because she can be certain she is saving the lives of women and their children. “My interest is seeing mothers coming back, bringing their babies for immunisation”, she says.
Madudu works in the Tiriri heath centre in Soroti district in eastern Uganda, an area over-run by rebels from the Lord’s Resistance Army in the north a decade ago. The electricity cables that were cut have never been replaced. The Ugandan Government classifies the centre as a level 4, which means that surgery should be done there, but although the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) has renovated the operating theatre and provides training for health workers, including Madudu, there is no anaesthesia equipment, so the theatre is still not in use. That means women in obstructed labour who need a caesarean section must go to Soroti district hospital, 28 km away. Once that involved families scrambling to raise loans and find somebody with a vehicle, but little by little, things have been improving and now there is an ambulance, managed by the local community, although money is still an issue. “We called a general meeting with the local community members to agree that when you get a patient in any emergency, the relatives should buy fuel so that the ambulance can run”, says Madudu. Maintaining the vehicle is also a problem.
Madudu’s enthusiasm and commitment to the cause of saving lives was recognised this year with a REAL Award for outstanding health-care workers around the globe, sponsors of which include Save the Children and the Frontline Health Workers Coalition. She has become an ambassador for AMREF and is now fronting their Stand up for African Mothers campaign. That work sometimes takes her away from the women of Soroti, but only for a while. They know what she has done for them and do not want her to move away. While they feel like that, she says, “I’m not going.”