Maternal health matters at all levels


Maternal health and safe maternity has become prominent agenda nationally and globally that has gain special attention because it is central to generate healthy nations.

Simultaneously, the issue has become the major ingredient and part of development agenda that is incorporated in all development goals.

Understanding this reality, countries are integrating the issue of maternal health in their health policies and strategies, work persistently and exerting utmost effort to promote maternal health; advance safe maternity care for the benefit of all generations.

By saying “Women should not die while giving life, they are striving to advance maternal health and averted deaths come to happen due and after birth.

However, even with this global attention, several mothers are dying during pregnancy, due date and other birth related complications including postpartum haemorrhage (bleeding after childbirth) that can be treated easily.

As sources indicate, in sub-Saharan Africa, the risk of a woman dying due to pregnancy-related issues is 100 times the risk in the U.S. In fact, there are some success stories; for example, both Malawi and Ethiopia have cut their country’s maternal mortality rates by half. The reason for this limitation, shortage of highly trained midwives in sub-Saharan Africa is a major challenge. Whatever the reason, however, maternal mortality should be avoided in any case.

As part of the global allies, Ethiopia is also working to cut maternal death and promote safe motherhood across the country through ensuring that all women receive the care they need to be safe and healthy throughout pregnancy and childbirth.

Recently, the country has marked Safe Motherhood Day in Semera Town, Afar State under the motto “Let’s join hands to curb maternal mortality due to postpartum hemorrhage.”

Speaking on the program, Health Minister Dr. Lia Tadesse said that to curb health challenges women face during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum and provide better health services for women and children who are the first victims of the war, everyone should exert maximum effort in rehabilitating and rebuilding damaged health centers.

Mentioning that in our country the leading causes of maternal mortality are postpartum haemorrhage (bleeding after childbirth), blood pressure, extended labor and anemia, the Minister said that however, these challenges are things that can be easily prevented.

In Ethiopia, to curb maternal mortality caused by the problem of bleeding after childbirth, various activities are carried out. The procurement of ambulance and distribution program, strict follow-up platforms, expansion of small blood banking services, strengthening local mentoring programs, applying state of the art technologies that are currently used worldwide have contributed a lot and made great strides in reducing the number of mothers dying in postpartum hemorrhage, she said.

Dr. Meseret Zelalem, Director of the Mothers and Children Health Directorate at the Ministry of Health, on her part said that the number of mothers giving birth at home outside of health facilities is high in the country. To this end, stakeholders should play their role in reducing maternal mortality by sensitizing mothers to give birth at health stations, providing medical inputs and training professionals and other similar activities.

Ali Hussein, Economic Cluster Coordinator of Afar State, at the rank of Vice President, on his part said that many health facilities have been severely damaged as a result of the war and several women and children are facing greater challenges. Thus, he called on all stakeholders to sustain their support to restore health facilities.

Yassin Habib, Afar State Health Bureau Head, on his part said that this is the decisive time that we should work aggressively to support mothers and children who are impacted negatively by the war; the State is working aggressively to support them through combining hands with all stakeholders and partners and reduce maternal mortality.

On the occasion, stakeholders and youth volunteers from the Afar State were recognized for their contributions to mothers’ healthcare service.

The Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE), The Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Associations (ESOG); the Ethiopian Midwives Association (EMwA), Marie Stopes, African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), The United Nations World Food Program (UNFP), The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), The Engender Health, PSM and the Diaspora community have also provided various medical and other supplies to the displaced people.



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