SANNIQUELLIE, Nimba – Over 200 participants from across Nimba gathered in Sanniquellie over the weekend to deliberate on steps needed to reduce maternal mortality within the county.
Held by the Nimba County Health Team and Africare, the conference was part of the Maternal and Child Survival Program currently running at Sanniquellie’s G. W. Harley Hospital.
Nimba’s county health officer Dr. Collins Bowah told reporters at the close of the conference that participants deliberated on issues of how they could tackle and reduce the high rate of maternal mortality in the county. He said there have been 31 deaths recorded so far this year.
“This has become so alarming [that] we thought it wise to have this conference, with the objective of firstly creating a massive awareness of maternal issues and newborn issues,” Bowah said. “The second objective is to come up with a resolution that we all will follow.”
Among the participants were district commissioners, traditional and certified midwives, and heads of health institutions.
Bowah said the resolution that participants agreed to was being prepared for distribution to the public.
In June 2017, Grand Bassa also held a similar conference. Liberia has one of the world’s highest rate of maternal mortality, defined as a death of either a pregnant woman or death of a woman within 42 days of delivery, miscarriage, termination or an ectopic pregnancy.
So grim is the issue of maternal mortality in the country that the Ministry of Health regularly collects data on maternal mortality along with highly contagious diseases such as measles, Ebola, and Lassa fever in its weekly Epidemiology Bulletin.
Featured photo by Caroline Gluck/Oxfam