It is inspiring to note that African countries are striving to meet the MDG Goal: 5 on reducing maternal mortality by 3 quarters and achieving universal access to reproductive health; however there is need to rally for more support and commitment from governments, civil society organizations and private sectors to achieve this goal.
Statistics from UNFPA Africa depict an improvement in maternal health for some of the African countries. As feminists we need to lobby for the support of maternal health. It us, who can best tackle this issue, let us make our voices heard on maternal health.
Maternal health has not been prioritized by African governments and even when it does incases of any financial cutbacks maternal health is first on the sacrificial line. The story of 550 women in Sub-Saharan Africa dying in child birth EVERY DAY must become history. According to the UNFPA more than one third of sub-Saharan women do not have access to any pre-natal health services today. Can you imagine reaching your due date without a single medical check up?
If only we could emulate Equatorial Guinea, it is one of 10 countries world wide that has reduced its maternal death rate by 81% from 1200 to 240, per 100,000 live births over the last 20 years. What does this mean for us? We must mobilize political commitment by governments, Civil Society organizations, and communities to:
- Establish and enforce reproductive health policies
- Monitor & Evaluate effectives of health service providers
- Raise public awareness on maternal health
- Prioritization of maternal health by governments
- Push for accountability for the recurrent failures
Let us work together to promote the African Union Commission initiated campaigns of "No Woman Should Die while Giving Life"