In Malawi, an overall shortage of midwives, coupled with poor working conditions and status, are affecting the provision of high-quality maternity care for women. To address this problem, the Government of Malawi made a commitment to the UN-led Every Woman, Every Child movement to strengthen human resources for health, including accelerating training and recruitment of health professionals to fill all available positions in the health sector. Download impact brief.
A woman’s chance of dying from pregnancy and childbirth in Nigeria is one in 13. Although many of these deaths are preventable through access to skilled birth attendants, 62% of births take place at home where women’s lives are put at risk. Evidence suggests that fear of disrespect and abuse that women often encounter in facility-based maternity care plays a significant role in a woman’s decision to give birth at home, and that it is a more powerful deterrent to the use of skilled care than commonly recognized barriers, such as cost or distance. Download impact brief.
An alarming number of women die giving birth in Pakistan. Although the annual number of maternal deaths dropped from 18,000 in 1990 to 7,900 in 2013, not enough progress was made to achieve Millennium Development Goal 5—a reduction in the maternal mortality ratio by three quarters. This is what motivated the formation of White Ribbon Alliance Pakistan (WRA Pakistan), which is a group of individuals and organizations that convened in 2008 to help citizens recognize and hold their government to account for commitments made to maternal and newborn health. Download impact brief.
RESPECTFUL MATERNITY CARE
Respectful maternity care (RMC) is a universal human right that is due to every childbearing woman in every health system around the world. Women’s experiences with maternity caregivers can empower and comfort them, or inflict lasting damage and emotional trauma. While many interventions aim to improve access to skilled birth care, the quality of relationships with caregivers during maternity care has received less attention. Evidence suggests that in countries with high maternal mortality, the fear of disrespect and abuse that women often encounter in facility-based maternity care is a more powerful deterrent to use of skilled care than commonly recognized barriers such as cost or distance. Download impact brief.
More than 24 women and 144 newborns die each day in Tanzania due to labor complications and lack of quality care. Many of these deaths can be prevented with adequate investment in Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (CEmONC). In 2008, the Government of Tanzania committed to ensuring that 50% of health centers provide CEmONC by 2015. However, the government has failed to operationalize this commitment and has made insufficient progress in improving maternal and newborn health. Download impact brief.
In Uganda, 17 mothers and 106 newborns die every day due in part to inadequate government investment in life-saving emergency obstetric and newborn care. In 2011, WRA Uganda advocated to the Government of Uganda to make a commitment to the Every Woman, Every Child. In response, the Government committed to ensuring that by 2015: 1) All sub-county and county health centers will provide basic emergency obstetric and newborn care services (BEmONC); 2) Half of county health centers will provide comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care (CEmONC) services. Download impact brief.