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Maternal and infant mortality, why don’t we talk about it?

In keeping with the focus on health in this edition’s Farmer stories, our Script of the week discusses maternal and infant mortality. 

Only about one-third of pregnant women in Burkina Faso attend eight pre-natal visits, as recommended by the World Health Organization. More than 2% of women are at risk of dying during their reproductive years in the country from causes related to maternity.

It is believed that direct obstetric causes are responsible for about 80% of maternal deaths, and the maternal mortality rate was estimated at 341 of 100,000 in 2010. Up to two-thirds of maternal deaths may occur outside the health system as a result of late identification of risks, late transportation to a medical facility, or at home following a delivery.

Both the quality and usage of health services need improvement in Burkina Faso, including obstetric care. There are major challenges related to the difficulties of transport to care facilities, the lack of knowledge of the risks involved in pregnancy, socio-cultural practices, the poor capacity of women to make decisions regarding their own health, the quality of health services, and citizens’ perception that the quality of services is poor.

This script discusses maternal health, the main causes of maternal mortality, and men’s involvement in the process of pregnancy. To talk about the issues, we interviewed female and male midwives, maternal and child health specialists, fathers, mothers, and pregnant women.

This script is based on actual interviews. You could use it as inspiration to research and write a script on maternal health or a similar topic in your area. Or you might choose to produce this script on your station, using voice actors to represent the speakers. If so, please make sure to tell your audience at the beginning of the program that the voices are those of actors, not the original people involved in the interviews.

The estimated duration of this script, with signature tune, intro, and extro is 20 minutes.