Why Maternal Health Matters
Refers to the health of women during their pregnancy, during delivery and post partum (post delivery).
According to the World Health Organization, 287,000 women died in pregnancy and childbirth in 2010. Nearly all these deaths were preventable.
800 women a day die in pregnancy or childbirth and of that number over 50% of the women are from Sub Saharan Africa.
Approximately 99% of maternal deaths occur in the world’s poorest countries and a higher number of these women are from rural areas.
Pregnant girls under the age of 15 years are at a much higher risk of Maternal Mortality. Increased adolescent pregnancies occur in areas where the girls come from poor backgrounds with little to no education.
The 4 biggest contributing factors leading to Maternal Mortality:
1. Post partum haemorrhage (severe bleeding)
2. Pre eclampsia & eclampsia (high blood pressure and fitting)
4. Unsafe abortions
(Mamas 4 Mamas partners with Life for African Mothers to supply medication to decrease death from severe bleeding and eclampsia).
Access to adequate and skilled healthcare before and after giving birth helps save the lives of women and their babies. Over the last 20 years Maternal Mortality in Sub Saharan Africa has decreased by over 50%.
Sustainable Development Goals:
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
SDG Number 3: Good Health and Well Being
We have made huge strides in reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and fighting HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. Since 1990, there has been an over 50 percent decline in preventable child deaths globally. Maternal mortality also fell by 45 percent worldwide. New HIV/AIDS infections fell by 30 percent between 2000 and 2013, and over 6.2 million lives were saved from malaria.
Despite this incredible progress, more than 6 million children still die before their fifth birthday every year. 16,000 children die each day from preventable diseases such as measles and tuberculosis. Every day hundreds of women die during pregnancy or from child-birth related complications. In many rural areas, only 56 percent of births are attended by skilled professionals. AIDS is now the leading cause of death among teenagers in sub-Saharan Africa, a region still severely devastated by the HIV epidemic.
These deaths can be avoided through prevention and treatment, education, immunization campaigns, and sexual and reproductive healthcare. The Sustainable Development Goals make a bold commitment to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases by 2030. The aim is to achieve universal health coverage, and provide access to safe and affordable medicines and vaccines for all. Supporting research and development for vaccines is an essential part of this process as well.
(United Nations Development Programme 2007)
(World Health Organization 2010)