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Posts Tagged ‘maternal health supplies’

Today, July 12th, marks six months since the devastating earthquake that shook Haiti earlier this year, killing more than 200,000 people.  An article, published today on Relief Web, outlines several of the components of the national health plan of the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population (with support from UNFPA) that was developed after the earthquake. The plan includes reviving the National School of Nurses and Midwives to reestablish midwifery training programs, working with UNICEF to set up clinics to provide skilled reproductive health services and basic emergency newborn care, supporting the Haitian Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to improve referral systems for maternal and neonatal services, and a variety of other activities to reduce morbidity and mortality among Haiti’s most vulnerable populations.

Relief Web

Excerpt from the article:

“…Life in the temporary camps poses a number of health challenges, especially for women and girls. Living in tight, often insecure quarters with minimal access to sanitation can expose women and girls to sexual violence and other dangers.

Over the past months, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, has provided maternal health supplies, including birthing kits to serve a population of 2 million people, as well as 22,000 hygiene kits aimed at the female population living in temporary camps, along with nearly 1,000 tents, 2000 mattresses and 17,000 solar lamps…”

Click here for the full story.

For information on UNFPA’s work in Haiti, click here.

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A NOW team from PBS recently went to Haiti to investigate high levels of maternal mortality in the country. They happened to be in the Haiti when the earthquake hit. In collaboration with the Bureau for International Reporting (BIR), a non-profit video news production company, PBS produced Saving Haiti’s Mothers, a show that examines the state of maternal health in Haiti before the earthquake and immediately following it.

NOW on PBS

“Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake, in addition to leaving lives and institutions in ruin, also exacerbated a longtime lethal risk in Haiti: Dying during childbirth. Challenges in transportation, education, and quality health care contribute to Haiti having the highest maternal mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere, a national crisis even before the earthquake struck. While great strides are being made with global health issues like HIV/AIDS, maternal mortality figures worldwide have seen virtually no improvement in 20 years. Worldwide, over 500,000 women die each year during pregnancy. This week, a NOW team that had been working in Haiti during the earthquake reports on this deadly but correctable trend. They meet members of the Haitian Health Foundation (HHF), which operates a network of health agents in more than 100 villages, engaging in pre-natal visits, education, and emergency ambulance runs for pregnant women…”

Read the full story and watch the special here.

Learn more about Haitian Health Foundation, UNFPA, and Family Care International—all organizations featured in the show.

Visit the Bureau for International Reporting (BIR) site here.

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UNFPA is asking for help as they try to establish emergency obstetric services for the estimated 37,000 pregnant women affected by Tuesday’s earthquake in Haiti.

ReliefWeb

“…To meet the urgent maternal health and other needs of women, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is seeking about $4.6 million as part of the coordinated United Nations Flash Appeal that will be launched today. The funding would supplement the supplies UNFPA is already providing in Haiti and address the specific needs of women, girls and other vulnerable populations for the next six months.”

Read the full story here.

Here is a list of what UNFPA will use the additional funds for:

– Refurbish maternity wards to handle emergency obstetric care and other life-saving health services

– Deploy skilled health professionals, such as midwives, obstetricians and nurses, to affected areas to provide maternal health and emergency obstetric care

– Provide emergency safe delivery and reproductive health medicines and supplies to temporary clinics and health facilities being set up

– Help safeguard the personal hygiene and dignity of women and girls by providing related sanitary supplies

– Facilitate access of affected populations, especially young people, to psychosocial counseling and other services

– Carry out interventions to prevent gender based violence.

UNFPA offers this contact information if you are looking for more info:

In Santo Domingo: Trygve Olfarnes, Tel: +507 301 7362, Satellite:

+ 898 8169 3160 0057 1740, olfarnes@unfpa.org.

In New York: Jessica Malter, Tel: + 1 212 297 5190, malter@unpfa.org

Omar Gharzeddine, Tel: + 1 212 297 5028 gharzeddine@unfpa.org

To donate directly to UNFPA, click here.

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Guinea-Bissau: Dying for Treatment is the name of Marco Vernaschi’s reporting project on health care in Guinea-Bissau, supported by the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting

Vernaschi’s project is tracking the story of extremely  limited access to quality health care in Guinea-Bissau, with a focus on the issue of maternal mortality.

Take a look at his photo essay that uses images to expose what  life and death are like for pregnant women in Guinea-Bissau. These photos are some of the most powerful I have ever seen.

Click here to see the photo essay.

Also, take a look at this 30 minute video that outlines many of the factors that contribute to limited access and poor quality of care in Guinea-Bissau—and the human implications of these problems.


Click here to visit the website for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

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BBC News

Take a look at this collection of photos and captions by BBC’s Andrew North that highlights several of the factors contributing to extremely high levels of maternal mortality in Afghanistan.

Click here to see the entire collection of photos and captions.

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Brain-drain, a poorly funded public health system, professional negligence, poor communication and  supply shortages all seem to be factoring into this spike in maternal mortality

Relief Web

“Figures showing a rise in the number of women dying in childbirth have only confirmed the multiple challenges facing maternity provision in Kyrgyzstan, which is short of qualified hospital staff, medical supplies and equipment. From January to the end of August, the latest period for which national data are available, 58 deaths were recorded among mothers during pregnancy, childbirth and the post-delivery period. The figure for eight months was ten more than for the whole of 2008. The figures were announced at a national congress of Kyrgyzstan midwives, paediatricians and paediatric surgeons held in the capital Bishkek on October 29-30. As the meeting took place, investigations were continuing into the deaths of four women at Bishkek’s perinatal centre between July 1 and August 18…”

Read the full story here.

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