As a pharmacy student, I received a video of several pregnant women in a one delivery room; some sitting on the floor, others pacing up and down screaming in pain. Right across was one delivery bed with linens soaked in blood, barely changing the sheets the next women were rushed to that blood-soaked bed to deliver her baby. I was in disbelief, with all the infectious diseases such as HIV, how come basic preventative measures are not taken to avoid the spread of diseases for the safety of mother and child and even the healthcare providers. Right away another women started yelling “my baby is coming”, with that I heard a voice, which I assumed was the nurse yelling back at her saying ‘’you have to wait your turn” several times.
How can a pregnant woman wait her turn when a baby is making their way into the world? This video stuck with me for years. Having gone through the UNICEF database and researching about women and children’s health in Africa, specifically Ghana; the statistics of maternal mortality along with infant mortality was astronomically high compared to western and developed countries. Maternal health and mortality with childbirth is extremely high in rural Ghana; per UNICEF a high percentage of mothers die from complications from childbirth, mostly these can be prevented with adequate prenatal and post-natal care, advanced medical equipment’s and adequate training for healthcare providers.
Maternal death increases the number of orphans in the already strained social welfare system of Ghana as women are viewed as the thread that holds families together culturally. Around 166,000 children in Ghana live on the streets with no immediate family structure.
Having worked in the US health system for over 20 years, where childbirth is easy and safe, I was moved to start an organization focused on implementing a similar US based system and protocols to help the disadvantaged women in rural Ghana.
This foundation will definitely help curb this mortality rate and provide safe and effective child delivery system thereby decreasing the increasing number of orphans and disadvantaged children.