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

| February 1, 2021

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This week’s Farmer story from the Gambia talks about the threat of hot weather to mothers and their babies. Our Script of the week continues on the theme of maternal and infant health.

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% 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 in the country, and the maternal mortality rate was estimated at 341 out 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 dangers, 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 it, we interviewed female and male midwives, maternal and child health specialists, fathers, mothers, and pregnant women.