When a woman dies during pregnancy, delivery or within 42 days after delivery, this death is maternal death. It is shocking. Because literally, we are losing our mothers whoose death arises from the natural reproductive urge to give birth.
I got sad news today of a dear young woman, newly married, educated, pleasant nature who died while giving birth to her first child. I am still in shock, that she died so soon, even more tragic, the baby died as well. And you ask, why is a woman in present day Nigeria, in a metropolitan city like Lagos is dying of pregnancy-related causes. I shudder to think the number of women dying in villages which have even more limited access to health care services and health care professionals.
While Nigeria's maternal mortality rate is steadily reducing, it still has one of the highest rate of maternal deaths in the world at about 500 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2013. Tunisia's rate is about 40 deaths per 100,000. More information available at:http://www.africanhealthstats.org/cms/
Africa Cares. That is the message that was spread many years ago when leaders gathered together to find a solution to reduce maternal mortality and stop preventable deaths from happening. A campaign the CARMMA - Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa, was formed in 2009 to drive action to stop women from dying in childbirth and to find lasting solutions to improve mothers and infants health and life. Details about CARMMA:http://www.carmma.org/
I am just sad that we have failed this young woman and are failing so much more by not preaching more about the statistics and what needs to change. That we need to advocate more for our governments to put more money into health care especially for maternal and infant health. That families need to recognise that a woman's life isimportant not only as a caregiver but that at her most vulnerable, she too need sthat care. So familes should speak up if services provided for her are not adequate, put her at risk which endangers her life or the quality of life she has.
I can't go on, because the pain I feel is so intense. As a mother of two children, this makes it all so clear to me, that my survival and the survival of all women who went through pregnancy and childbirth should not be a game of chance or luck but rather of rights. I have the right to life, which is so fundamental.
"Africa cares:No woman should die while giving life." That is the plain truth.
So what needs to happen to achieve this? We need to put words into action, so that we mean it when we say: No woman (regardless of status) should die while giving life.