We celebrate the special role and unique love that mothers around the world have for their children. In the low and middle-income communities where IHP works, millions of mums and expectant mothers lack access to basic medical care for themselves and their children, leaving them extremely vulnerable.
More than 800 women die every day in pregnancy or childbirth – that is about one death every 90 seconds. Almost all maternal deaths occur in low-income countries, with more than 60% in sub-Saharan Africa. Most of these deaths are easily preventable with appropriate management and care including access to relevant medicines, assistance during delivery and support after childbirth. Simple obstetric medicines can significantly reduce the risk of postpartum haemorrhage, the most common cause of maternal death. Improving access to these medicines helps to support safe delivery and increase survival rates of women so they can fulfill their vital roles as mothers.
In addition, health workers can be trained to respond to complications, while investment in midwifery can help prevent maternal and neonatal deaths.
Women and men have different healthcare needs, but an equal right to live healthily. Women, however, are often the ones least likely in the family to get access to healthcare. Pregnancy and childbirth pose particular risks:
IHP works around the world to ensure mothers are supported with access to the medicines and supplies they need during pregnancy and after birth, and to ensure healthcare workers are equipped to provide the best care for mothers. Your support makes this possible.
Sierra Leone has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world making it one of the most dangerous places to give birth. According to the latest estimates from 2015, 1 in 17 mothers in Sierra Leone has a lifetime risk of death associated to childbirth. Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) is the leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality.
Through our in-country partner in Sierra Leone, we’re working to change this. A donation of 46,120 treatments for PPH last year was distributed preventing many hundreds of women, like Sampa, from dying in childbirth.
Sampa, 21, lives with her parents in Freetown. The family do not have much, and Sampa’s husband abandoned her before her baby was due. During her pregnancy, Sampa had experienced some bleeding, and upon delivery started haemorrhaging. An emergency ambulance was called and she was rushed for an operation.
Nurse Elizabeth Cole, who had attended training from our in-country partner, was able to use the skills she had learned and administered IHP donated PPH medicine to Sampa, which stopped her bleeding. Sampa went on to deliver a healthy baby girl.
We believe all women should have the opportunity to live healthy and dignified lives. With your support, IHP will continue to increase the capacity of healthcare facilities in low- and middle-income countries to provide the quality healthcare support women need to survive pregnancy and childbirth and to thrive as mothers.