Reducing The Prevalence of Maternal Mortality

The 2030 mandate by the WHO to reduce maternal mortality (to less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births) is currently being implemented in 183 countries across the globe. Between 1900 and 2015, UNICEF reported that global MMR drastically declined from 385 deaths to 216 deaths (per 100,000 live births). Despite an impressive 44% drop, Sub-Saharan Africa still accounted for 66% of maternal deaths worldwide. About 99% of maternal deaths occur in developing regions, with Nigeria constituting one-third of this burden (WHO, 2019).

An estimate from the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) further revealed a reduction in maternal mortality from 1,200 deaths per 100,000 live births in the 1900s, to 545 deaths in 2013. Currently, international health organisations are still partnering with government parastatals to further reduce this burden by 2030.

Given that the global maternal mortality rate dropped by 44% in the last decade, what are your suggestions to the government to further reduce maternal mortality? What are some of the causes of maternal mortality around you?

Ways by which Maternal Mortality can be improved beyond the 44% that was acheived are:

  1. Adequate equiping of Primary Health Care, financing inclusive, towards ensuring effective ANC, Childbirth/delivery service and good referral system by the Government especially through partnership with private organisations such as NGO’s.
    2.Enabling an affordable Insurance package by the Government or in partnership with other Health-partnering organsation, be made available to all (especially the low socio-economic class of individuals).
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A large contributory factor to the high MMR for Nigeria is the increased decline of a needed C-section due to the stigmatisation of mother’s that go through the procedure face even when it is essential to save their life and their baby(s) due to a complication.

Mother’s that birth through this means are sometimes looked down upon in society like they are not “woman enough” or “strong enough” to give birth vaginally.

This is mostly due to religious and social factors, and sometimes concerns about the saftey.

As this is a social problem, so women have to be encouraged to be bold and assertive , especially when pregnant to chose the lifesaving course of action when needed for her and her baby without being ashamed of what society may say.

Also increased accessibility to good birth services and subsidizing the cost can be helpful.

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In states like Delta the government made available free delivery including c-section, but majority of the pregnant women prefer going to supposedly midwives and quacks who deceive them and when the case becomes more complicated they refer them to the hospital and some of them eventually die before getting there. However maternal mortality can be reduced not only by the government (because in some places the government is actually trying), also health workers being more careful sensitive towards patients, more manpower, eradicating of quackery in the health sector, and more awareness in the importance and benefits on C-section, also the dangers in giving birth in just any place.

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These are some great suggestions, Tunde! Especially by enabling affordable health insurance packages as lack of funds is one the major reasons why mothers adopt traditional/local care during pregnancy and child birth.

Your proferred solutions are great and very easy to implement. Marcelina, this is very sad. To imagine that these services are made available at no extra cost but ignorance and fear have made these expectant mothers to seek alternative method of delivery creates a big problem. Talk about solving a problem and creating another problem.

Thank you Laura for your emphasis on the need for more awareness about C-sections. I bet if they are made aware of the benefits in a more understanding manner, the level of stigmatization would reduce or even be totally eradicated.

Some of the causes of maternal mortality include hypertension during pregnancy, infections, severe bleeding and mostly complications during delivery.

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Thank you for the response. I guess these are some of the causes peculiar to your location?