Every maternal death is unacceptable and avoidable
It’s a tragic fact that every day 1,000 women still die in childbirth or from pregnancy related complications. This number remains too high, especially when the vast majority of these deaths are easily preventable by having skilled clinicians, drugs and the necessary equipment in the places where they are needed most.
Maternal death is an avoidable crisis that deserves your attention.
Experience shows us that at least 15 percent of all pregnant women worldwide encounter a life-threatening complication. In a conflict or a crisis, pregnant women are even more vulnerable because health services have collapsed, are inadequate or non-existent. But these women need access to quality emergency obstetric care whether they live in a conflict zone, in a refugee camp or under plastic sheeting after a devastating earthquake.
In fact, they need the same help that all pregnant women facing a complication need: access to appropriate medical assistance – skilled medical staff, drugs and equipment – to save their life and the life of their baby. Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) makes it a priority to provide life-saving, emergency obstetric care in both acute and chronic humanitarian crises. In the organisation’s emergency activities, teams strive to address the five main causes of maternal death: haemorrhage, sepsis, unsafe abortion, hypertensive disorders and obstructed labour.
The provision of emergency obstetric care is at the forefront of MSF’s work in sexual and reproductive health. Additional medical care provided to women by MSF includes antenataland postnatal care, family planning, assistance to sexual violence survivors, fistula treatment, post-abortion care, and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Conflict, epidemics, natural disasters, or the complete breakdown of a country’s health system are crises faced by MSF’s millions of patients around the world every day.
But a maternal death: that’s the avoidable crisis.
Press Release - 19 November 2012:
Drastic Maternal Mortality Reduction Possible by Enabling Access to Emergency Obstetric Care
VOICES FROM THE FRONTLINE: MSF HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL TESTIMONIES