Somaliland: Maternal Mortality Drops

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Edna Aden (C) poses with graduating Community midwives trained at the Edna Aden Maternity Hospital University in Hargeisa Somaliland

Somalilandsun – The number of mothers and infants dying in childbirth is slowly declining in cities across Somaliland thanks to the increasing number of trained midwives, according to new statistics from the Somaliland Nursing and Midwifery Association (SLNMA).

Fowzia Mohamed Ismail, the executive director of SLNMA, said the maternal and infant mortality rate had fallen from 1,600 mothers dying per 100,000 live births in 2004 to 1,440 deaths today. Ismail told Radio Ergo’s local reporter in Hargeisa the figures reflected improving health facilities and the increasing number of professional midwives available in the hospitals.

Radio Ergo’s reporter said the decrease in maternal deaths had taken place mainly in urban areas. The number of women dying during childbirth in rural areas was still high. Ismail linked the maternal mortality in rural areas to the critical shortage of trained midwives and lack of health facilities.

She said the SLNMA was planning to train midwives to operate in rural areas. Efforts in this regard was confronted by cultural challenges because many women including those living in towns preferred to give birth at home in the hands of traditional midwives. “Only 20% of the total number of pregnant women arrive and deliver their children at hospital,” Ismail said.

Source: Amisom monitoring

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