Social media in the last few days has been buzzing with, ‘Throw backs’, ‘selfie with mom’, commentaries, photo uploads and eulogies for mothers.
The frenzy has been on almost all the social media platforms especially on twitter. The online ‘campaign’ depicts how much of essence mothers are and the pivotal role they play in community building.
Amidst all that, no other celebration will ever surpass that moment when a mother after nine months of pregnancy safely delivers.
Maternal mortality is unacceptably high. About 800 women die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related complications around the world every day. In 2013, 289 000 women died during and following pregnancy and childbirth. Almost all of these deaths occurred in low-resource settings, and most could have been prevented.
Here are some new babies, happy mothers and busy midwives captured by my Nikon D90 as i visited the maternity ward of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital on mother’s day.
“Even though evidence shows that there has been significant reduction in child (under-5) mortality (111 per 1,000 live births in 2003 to 82 per 1,000 live births in 2011) and maternal mortality (740 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 350 per 100,000 live births in 2010), MDG 4 and 5 remain the goals that Ghana has underachieved.
The major driver for high under-five mortality is stagnation in the reduction of neonatal mortality (32 per 1000 live births) and this is responsible for 40 percent of under five deaths.
Accelerating the progress in these areas,many health facilities in Ghana has established efforts to ensure women and children have improved and equitable access to and utilization of quality and high-impact maternal, neonatal and child health interventions.
But Why do pregnant women continue to die?
It is always a very sad notice , but many women continue to lose their lives not as a result of the pregnancy but preventable complications thereof i.e during pregnancy and after childbirth. Most of these complications develop during pregnancy. Other complications may exist before pregnancy but are worsened during pregnancy. The major complications that account for nearly all maternal deaths are:
- severe bleeding (mostly bleeding after childbirth)
- infections (usually after childbirth)
- high blood pressure during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia)
- complications from delivery
- unsafe abortion.
It is true that, educated and regulated midwives can provide up to 87% of the essential care needed by women and their newborns.
Midwives are true life savers!
How can women’s lives be saved?
Most maternal deaths are preventable, solutions to prevent or manage complications are well known and documented now than previous. Antenatal care in pregnancy, skilled care during childbirth, and care and support in the weeks after childbirth indeed has proven effective in saving lives. It is particularly important that all births are attended by skilled health professionals, as timely management and treatment can make the difference between life and death.
Severe bleeding after birth can kill a healthy woman within hours if she is unattended to. Very often Injecting oxytocin including bleeding mechanisms immediately after childbirth effectively reduces the risk of bleeding.
Infection after childbirth can be eliminated if good hygiene is practised and if early signs of infection are recognized and treated in a timely manner.
Pre-eclampsia should be detected and appropriately managed before the onset of convulsions (eclampsia) and other life-threatening complications. Administering drugs such as magnesium sulfate for pre-eclampsia can lower a woman’s risk of developing eclampsia.
To avoid maternal deaths, it is also vital to prevent unwanted and too-early pregnancies. All women, including adolescents, need access to contraception, safe abortion services to the full extent of the law, and quality post-abortion care.
The best way to celebrate our mothers is to continue to promote and improve on maternal and child care.
Each day is a day for the Mothers.Happy Celebrations
See more about Maternal Health and maternal mortaity on WHO’s website
Photo Credit: Kobby Blay