According to new UN estimates 2015, Sierra Leone is still estimated to have the highest maternal mortality rates globally.
The country’s last maternal deaths rates according to UN was 1100 per 100,000 live births, now is estimated at 1360 which replaces the previous UN estimate of 1100.
The reports also show that 1 in 17 women in Sierra Leone has life time risk of dying while giving birth.
Guinean and Liberia have made some progess despite Ebola outbtreak. Guinea MMR 679 per 100,000 live births; Liberia MMR 725 per 100,000 live births.
This increasing trend of maternal mortality has shown that the country’s Free Health Care Initiative (FHC) that was launched in 2010 has shown little or no progress in addressing the maternal deaths in the country.
In a bid to engage stakeholders in the ministry of health through the directorate of reproductive and child health and health partners to reduce maternal deaths and the improvement of quality of care, MamaYe campaign on Thursday 12th November 2015 held a National Safe Clinics Conference in collaboration with Options on the theme “Improving and Sustaining Status of Emergency Obstetrics and Neonatal Care Facilities (EmONC) in Sierra Leone”.
The purpose of the Safe Clinics Consultative Conference was to assess the country’s compliance of facilities in achieving and sustaining the EmONC requirements for each enabler as assessed through the facility Improvement Teams (FIT) assessments.
Reports have shown that women and children are dying in Sierra Leone because our health facilities lack 7 key enablers to make them safe for pregnant women and babies.
In order to address this, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation introduced the Facility Improvement Team (FIT) assessment after the launch of the Free Health Care in 2010 as approach to monitor the progress of the designated EmONC facilities towards compliance.
There are seven identified categories, referred to as enablers, which are needed to be fulfilled prior to achieving full EmONC status.
Water & Sanitation
Blood Handling & Laboratory Services
Drugs & essential Supplies
During the conference, stakeholders were informed that none of the government hospitals and clinics across the country met the 7 enablers’ status.
This has further informed this medium why our maternal mortality remains high in the world.
MamaYe, Options and the Ministry have asked donors to support the process of making facilities EmONC compliant.
There is a seeming erosion of national stakeholders’ commitment to this process since the EVD outbreak in the country.
The safe clinic conference has therefore created an opportunity at galvanizing efforts of local councils, MoHS, Relevant Ministries and health-related partners to support clean clinics in order to reduce the maternal deaths in the country.