Zondo Town, Grand Bassa County – The Head Mid Wife of a rural health center in District Four, Grand Bassa County says there has been no maternal or neonatal death at the clinic for over six months.
Speaking to a local radio station in Grand Bassa County, mid wife Victoria Harris said since the Zondo Clinic began serving people of towns in Gianda Clan, District Four, it has not experienced maternal death so far. She praised the Trained Traditional Midwives (TTMs) for their cooperation and hard work.
“Sometime in a month’s time, we get 15 deliveries, sometime 16, or 17 deliveries and some of the TTMs are willing and are working along with us,” She explains. “Because they (TTMs) understand me, they bring big belle from the towns to the clinic and we do the delivery here.”
The clinic began providing health care services to locals since it was officially opened September 2015 and has recorded no maternal death. Over the years, towns in the area including the biggest town, Zondo, have complained about high maternal and new born deaths due to the lack of health care center.
The area is very remote so people had to carry sick people in hammer for many hours before getting to the nearest health center located on the Liberian Agriculture Company’s plantation (several miles away), many locals in the area said.
The recent disclosure by Midwife Harris of the Zondo Clinic explains the significant progress the county health sector is making to reduce maternal mortality which is a major health problem in the country. Some health experts say delivery at a health facility reduces the risk of maternal or neonatal death and with midwives working effectively with the clinic in this part of rural Grand Bassa, there’s some gains being made.
“But some are not cooperating and are still very stubborn because they want to deliver pregnant women at home,” added Madam Harris.
She said community health volunteers of the clinic are out and about to inform people about attending the clinic when they are sick or pregnant. The head midwife at the Zondo Clinic also called on government and partners to help setup a maternal waiting home at the clinic which will allow pregnant women live far away from the clinic have access to the hospital .
“We are asking for them to build maternal waiting home for us,” she requested. For those in Bold Dollar Town which is about five hour walk from there to the hospital, so those people can’t come to the hospital from over there when they are in pain.”
“I know they (government and partners) will let us down with this request because it will be a help for our pregnant women.”
The online news, FrontPage Africa recently reported that the main government hospital in the county’s capital, Buchanan has experienced no maternal death since March 2016. With 500 deliveries and no maternal mortality, the Liberian Government Hospital attributed ‘increment of the number of midwives and the coming in of another doctor has greatly improved services at the hospital,’ according to the paper.
Reducing maternal and neonatal deaths are important pillars of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs 5) and global statistics by the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 289,000 women died during pregnancy and childbirth in 2013, a decline of 45% from levels in 1990.
In Liberia, 2014 WHO’s Liberia maternal new born, child and adolescent health policy indicator, the annual number of neonatal death in 2013 was 3,793.