Sunday, June 25, 2017

Saving Lives of Mothers

| Article posted on November - 1 - 2006

“The miracle of life means death for too many mothers in the developing world. Every minute a woman dies because of complications in pregnancy and childbirth.” According to the World Health Organization this adds up to about 600,000 maternal deaths per year, the vast majority of which occur in Africa. In essence, African women are three times as likely to die in childbirth as women in the developed world.

These are terrible odds. Too many women are dying, and the reasons for this are numerous. Recently, a study on reproductive health in the Gambia looked at the disparity between developed and developing countries as far as maternal mortality is concerned. The study found that, particularly in rural areas, it is difficult, if not impossible to reach expert obstetric care in a timely fashion once a complication has been identified. But even if a patient can make it to a hospital — which is not likely given the state of the roads and the lack of access to transportation — prompt medical care may still not be available, it may be woefully inadequate, or it may already be too late.

“Ensuring the survival of future generations is one of the most urgent problems facing Africa. That means saving the lives of both mothers and their babies.” This quote originates from an article on NPR.org in a series called “Africa: Portraits of Poverty.” Beyond a doubt, education and training are desperately needed and are of utmost importance in finding a solution for this terrible state of affairs.

Expectant mothers must learn that medical care during pregnancy is an absolute necessity — but they must also learn to trust that help will be available when they need it. And for this trust to be deserved, many more people must be trained in midwifery, equipped with life-saving medications, and stationed in the most remote areas. In addition, hospitals or clinics with the capability of performing Cesarean-sections must be established all over the country.

In fact, this is our vision for the Gambia. Only when this has been accomplished, can motherhood be a completely joyous event instead of just another reason for suffering and mourning. It will then truly be a celebration of life.

Dr. Ingrid Feder Sidibeh, President & CEO / Excecutive Board of Directors
Ingrid Feder Sidibeh, MD

President

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