The Peace Corps is excited to be a partner of Saving Mothers, Giving Life. We are particularly proud of the contributions Peace Corps Volunteers have made at the community level to promote the importance of essential maternal health services, and we are thrilled to continue our collaboration to aggressively reduce maternal mortality. - Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Saving Mothers’first Annual Report, Making Pregnancy and Childbirth Safe in Uganda and Zambia, demonstrates rapid progress towards reducing maternal mortality ratios in eight pilot districts.
In Uganda districts, the maternal mortality ratio has declined by 30%, while in facilities in Zambia, the maternal mortality ratio has decreased by 35%. The Report showcases the activities that have helped contribute to these gains, including:
Increasing the number of women delivering in health facilities by 62% and 35% in Uganda and Zambia, respectively
Enhancing women’s access to Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care, by hiring and training skilled birth attendants;
Strengthening transportation and communications networks among communities and facilities, in addition to strengthening the supply chain for life-saving medicines and commodities; and
Expanding testing and treatment for HIV/AIDS for women and their newborns.
I had incredible experiences with mothers. I saw a delivery in the crowded district hospital and after, an episiotomy repair. I also visited a traditional birth attendant home, arriving just after two women had delivered the most beautiful and perfect babies. When I left Malawi, I felt inspired and proud of my impact and the footprint I hoped I had left behind. - Peace Corps Response Volunteer Lauren Goodwin
According to figures released by UNICEF, a Malawian woman’s lifetime risk of maternal death is 1 in 36; compare that to America’s 1 in 2,100 and Norway’s 1 in 7,600. High maternal mortality in Malawi is due in part to the fact that only 54 percent of deliveries have a skilled medical professional present. Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) fill the gap in rural, resource-deprived areas where maternal health facilities are not accessible.