By Abdulrahman Koroma
MamaYe an Organization that aims to change fatalism to hope, apathy to action, and best guesses into hard facts hosted Health Officers and Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) in a one day capacity building workshop on Thursday 19th November 2015 at Kona lodge in Freetown.
During her presentation Rosie Le Voir, a representative of the organization from the United Kingdom says statistic in Sierra Leone shows that 2,100 of newborn babies died from preterm birth complications, and 1 out of 4 of every death among the new born babies are preventable.
She further stated that statistics in Country also indicates that 23,000 babies are being born in Sierra Leone every year before 9 months (Premature).
She further revealed that maternal mortality ratio in Sierra Leone is unacceptably high and the country was recently ranked by the World Health Organization as the highest in the world.
Cross sections of the participants argued that the country has most time been ranked as the highest in terms of maternal mortality rates due to the inaccurate report that was made available to the researchers.
In a factsheet, the organization highlighted that maternal and newborn survival remains a significant challenge in many parts of the world, and especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
And good progress has been made since the 1990s in reducing the deaths of children under-five years of age.
Yet, despite this progress, much less attention has been paid to addressing deaths during the first 28 days of life – the neonatal period. In 2013, 2.8 million babies died worldwide during the neonatal period and it represents two out of every five child deaths.
Similarly, maternal mortality has remained high in most settings. Every year an estimate of 289,000 women die worldwide from complications during pregnancy, delivery and after the birth (postpartum period).
For each death, 20 or 30 other women experience short or long –term physical or mental disabilities. In the sub-Saharan Africa the lifetime of maternal mortality is 1 in 38, while comparatively, in Europe lifetime risk is 1 in 9,000.
The organization states that, almost all maternal deaths take place in low –income settings and could be prevented.
The organization further confirmed that there is evidence exists of a link between water and Sanitation and maternal and newborn health and that improvements in water and sanitation are one way through which the health of mothers and babies could be improved, and their lives saved.
The links between maternal health and water and sanitation are multiple and occur not only during the continuum (range) of care from pregnancy, to delivery, and the postpartum period, but also throughout the life of the mother and her child.
However, access to clean water and improved sanitation is often insufficient, with poor households and health facilities often lacking access to adequate water sources and sanitation.
Despite the fact that the millennium development goal 7 targets on water was met in 2010, 748 million people worldwide still relied on unimproved drinking water sources in 2012, 43% of whom are living in sub-Saharan Africa.
And Sanitation coverage in 2012 stood at 64%, which remains largely below the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Sanitation target of 75%.