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Improving Maternal Health care in sub-Saharan Africa – By Elfredah Kevin

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President Elect, Dr. Vetty Agala giving lecture to participants

The Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria, (MWAN) Rivers State branch, as part of its duty in promoting the lives of the mother and child have been at the forefront of ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages, as it is essential to sustainable development in sub- Saharan Africa.

A cross-section of participants at the event.

In recent past, the group had conducted a medical outreach campaign for over 2,500 persons, including women of reproductive age and health workers in four LGA’s in Rivers State, Nigeria.

Representatives of Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria, (MWAN) Rivers State Branch and DR. ROSEMARY OGU, the Immediate past President decried the death of over 1000 women every day in Sub Saharan Africa from pregnancy related causes.

Many nursing mothers participated in the event

Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN) Rivers State branch, with the support from Pfizer is carrying out series of engagement with communities to raise awareness and champion the enhancement of the capacity of community health workers and midwives to deliver essential maternal and pre-natal care services through training and use of the Safe Childbirth checklist.

The Safe Childbirth checklist has been developed by the World Health Organisation to support the delivery of essential maternal and pre-natal care services. The Checklist aims to help frontline health workers prevent avoidable childbirth-related mortality and morbidity.

The Checklist addresses the major causes of maternal death (haemorrhage, infection, obstructed labour and hypertensive disorders), intra-partum-related stillbirths (inadequate intra-partum care), and neonatal deaths (birth asphyxia, infection and complications related to prematurity).

Explaining the need for prompt registration of pregnant women for ante natal care in order to access screening services, intermittent preventive treatment for malaria, vaccination against tetanus as well as regular health talks.

The President Elect, DR. VETTY AGALA discussed danger signs in pregnancy, as well as signs of labour, care for the cord, breastfeeding, family planning, child immunization etc. These she said improves maternal health and reduce morbidity and mortality from pregnancy and child birth. Information, Education and Communication materials on improving maternal health as well as frequently asked questions were distributed at the event.

Prior to the community awareness program, MWAN trained health workers in October 2017 on the use of the Safe Birth Checklist in the management of pregnancy and labour. The training was facilitated by representatives from World Health Organisation (WHO), MWAN and the Chief Executive of a leading maternal and child hospital in Cameroun, Prof.F. Angwafo.

Pfizer International is supporting MWAN’s work on Improving Quality of Maternal Health Care in sub Saharan Africa through the use of the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist Initiative (aka MWAN Safe Childbirth Checklist Initiative) in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroun and Zambia.

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