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9Mar

Who Cares About Maternal Mortality?

Motherhood is supposed to a joyful experience but for many women that reality often comes with its own pain. The kind you cannot explain and one that can never be erased. I have never been a mother but it is scary to know, your life hangs in the balance when you have no access to healthcare during pregnancy which must be one of the most delicate periods of a woman’s life.

I don’t want to sound like a pessimist but I have almost given up ion the MDG goals being achieved in 2015 or even 2020. If 1.2 million women currently die in pregnancy every year and 9 million children die before they are five, what hope is there for the millions who are yet to be born? Watching this edition of Riz Khan was eye opening but also reassuring because there are people taking actions to help improve the health of women during and after pregnancy. In my opinion and I mean this with the utmost level of respect, it should not be the responsibility of NGOs to fix the issue of healthcare or maternal mortality in any nation. The government of each sovereign nation should buckle-up and address this problem. This is a political and economic empowerment issue and education is the first step to reducing the current dire reality faced by many women. A little radical but if I lived in a situation where my life was at risk due to the lack of healthcare, I really don’t think having a baby would be priority for me. There are children who need to be loved, I would be more than happy to help care for them. There is nothing wrong with having a child but for me, at what cost?

Doctors, nurses, midwives and other arms of the medical profession which provide care for women and children needs to be improved and this needs to be done now, not later or tomorrow. If national governments made healthcare a priority, that would be an overdue step in the right direction. In a recent conversation with a friend, she told me of her experience in a Lagos hospital, where the women were using candles and lanterns in the hospital after giving birth. They had to use their own clothing to create curtains for the window of the hospital and mosquito repellents to keep the suckers away. If a national hospital is in such decay, what chance do mothers and their new born babies have?


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