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Liberia’s maternal mortality shoots

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The head of Montserrado County Health Team Dr. YattaSackieWapoe says one of the factors responsible for the increase in maternal mortality in Liberia is pregnant women’s delay in getting to health facilities.

Dr. Wapoe told UNMIL Radio’s Coffee Break on Wednesday, 11 January that “most of these women strongly rely on traditional birth attendants” because they are [safer] there.

While discouraging pregnant women here against abandoning health facilities for traditional birth attendants, Dr. Wapoe said though [midwives] are “our partners”, pregnant women must hurry to hospital if they need quick attention.

She spoke ahead of a one-day national stakeholder’s workshop for maternal mortality held on Wednesday under the auspices of the Ministry of Health.  Dr. Wapoeobserved that maternal mortality has caused many patients to loss their lives, urging the need for such to be addressed.

She encouraged pregnant women to take advantage of healthcare facilities within their areas as soon as possible in order to avoid maternal mortality in the country. She said the Health Ministry’s decision to hold the one-day workshop on maternal mortality was against the backdrop that many women suffer the cold hands of death as a result of this illness.
She recalled that in November 2016, the Ministry had its annual review meeting where the issue of maternal mortality came up on the agenda, based upon which the ministry saw that it was wise to invite all relevant stakeholders.

Superintendents and traditional midwives were among key stakeholders targeted in the workshop to discuss and come up with a resolution. Dr. Wapoe said that at the end of the workshop, stakeholders are expected to commit to resolution that would come up.

She suggested that government, through the Ministry of Health must be committed to providing health facilities that will cater to patients, while also seeking partners’ commitment to provide support to the government.

She expressed optimism that if all recommendations from the workshop were considered, maternal mortality will reduce in Liberia, saying “We believe that no woman should die while giving birth.”
“We have setup a response team to address these cases when they arise”, she said, especially at the level of Montserrado County Health Care Service.

By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Winston W. Parley

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