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Selected Category: SMGL

Epilogue: Saving Mothers, Giving Life – A Positive Impact

Categories: women's/maternal health

 

This is the fifth installment in a five-part series about efforts to save the lives of mothers in Africa through an initiative called Saving Mothers, Giving Life. Be sure to read the other four blog posts in this series.
 
Photos from this week's blog series

The strong results of the Saving Mothers, Giving Life initiative have drawn praise to Uganda. CDC, along with the Uganda Ministry of Health and other partners, was an integral partner in both the design and execution of the plan.

Erik Friedly, Associate Director for Communication, CDC-Uganda

Erik Friedly, Associate Director for Communication, CDC-Uganda

The success spills beyond simply maternal health to other efforts on which CDC and Uganda’s Ministry of Health have been collaborating on for year. The most notable of those is PEPFAR, the ambitious U.S.-led effort to combat the HIV/AIDs epidemic.

By targeting maternal health, SMGL also contributes to PEPFAR’s targets in Uganda by ensuring that pregnant women are counseled and tested for HIV and are accessing prevention of mother-to-child transmission services in a timely manner.

“This effort is a clear indication of the value of the PEPFAR platform in driving effective diagonal programs through Saving Mothers, Giving Life,” said CDC’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS Director Debbi Birx. “We are pleased to see impacts on HIV/AIDS as well as on maternal and newborn health outcomes.”

Saving Mothers, Giving Life Explores “Mother Waiting Sheds”

Categories: child health, health systems strengthening, malaria, parasitic diseases, women's/maternal health

 

This is the fourth installment in a five-part series about efforts to save the lives of mothers in Africa through an initiative called Saving Mothers, Giving Life. Be sure to read the other four blog posts in this series.
 

Nakaliga Deziranta rests in a “Mother Waiting Shed”

Nakaliga Deziranta rests in a “Mother Waiting Shed”

Saving Mothers, Giving Life (SMGL) is exploring an innovative concept aimed at reducing pre-delivery complications – the “Mother Waiting Shed.” The sheds provide at-risk mothers, particularly those traveling from far-off villages, easier access to comprehensive emergency obstetric and neonatal care – essential for averting maternal death and disability. Four waiting sheds, renovated by SMGL with funding from CDC and other partners, have been established at Kibaale Health Center IV, Kakumiro Health Center IV, Kakindo Health Center IV, and Kagadi Hospital. These sheds are just one piece of the comprehensive SMGL program that CDC supports through core strengths in reproductive/maternal health, health systems strengthening, monitoring and evaluation and human resources for health.

Erik Friedly, Associate Director for Communication, CDC-Uganda

Erik Friedly, Associate Director for Communication, CDC-Uganda

The system works this way: mothers with a previous scar, a history of obstetric complications, transport challenges, or mal-presentation of the baby are advised to come early and wait in the shed nearer to the health facility. When mothers arrive to give birth, those who still need time to progress in labor are transferred to the waiting shed where they are constantly monitored by midwives who assess delivery progress. This sort of “triage” system allows mothers to be in a safe environment during a critical touch-and-go period for them and their babies. 

Nakaliga Deziranta, a 26-year old mother of three from Kasambya village, understands the value of these innovative waiting sheds.  She had always attended her antenatal care appointments at Kibaale Health Center IV. During her first visit in January 2013, she was given a dose of intermittent preventive treatment for malaria, mebendazole, an insecticide treated net, and tetanus toxoid, and, over the course of her visits, she was identified as an at-risk patient and consequently advised to travel to the health center early—at the first signs of labor. Heeding this advice, Nakaliga left home when she first began feeling labor pain, and, upon arrival at the health facility, the midwife on duty examined her and established that she was in the latent phase of labor. She made a decision to keep Nakaliga in the facility’s Mother Waiting Shed, and, after three days of progressive labor, Nakaliga finally gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Nakaliga was extremely happy with the care she received while at the shed and then during delivery and has promised to “tell other women to come in time and wait for their time of delivery from the shed.” In rural Uganda, word of mouth may be SMGL’s greatest ally, and other mothers share Nakaliga’s enthusiasm for the waiting shed concept.

Alozio the Ambulance Rider

Categories: women's/maternal health

 

This is the third installment in a five-part series about efforts to save the lives of mothers in Africa through an initiative called Saving Mothers, Giving Life. Be sure to read the other four blog posts in this series.
 

Ndolereire Alozio and his ambulance (Photo: CDC-Uganda)

Ndolereire Alozio and his ambulance (Photo: CDC-Uganda)

In a perfect world, the closest fully-staffed, fully-equipped hospital is 15 miles or less away when a woman goes into labor. Uganda is not a perfect world, which is why Ndolereire Alozio is considered a critical part of both Uganda’s transportation network and its public health system.

Erik Friedly, Associate Director for Communication, CDC-Uganda

Erik Friedly, Associate Director for Communication, CDC-Uganda

Alozio drives a three-wheeled or “tricycle” ambulance that is crucial for Saving Mothers, Giving Life’s goal of reducing Uganda’s high maternal death rate. He’s also well qualified; a former taxi driver from Kibaale District who brought great passion to the new job.

CDC provides support and training for the “tricycle” ambulance riders which are strategically placed at high-volume, lower-level health centers. They are linked to traditional, high-speed ambulances that SMGL sees as a way to address a critical shortage of transportation for pregnant women.

Alozio’s commitment has won him the hearts of many in his rural community and drawn the appreciation of local health workers and government officials. Mfashingabo Steven, Secretary for Health and Vice Chairperson of the district, expressed his gratitude to Alozio during a local ambulance management meeting at Kagadi Hospital: “All the riders should emulate the good work and dedication exhibited by Alozio; we often receive calls from the community appreciating the way he responds to emergencies.”

Immaculate, the Mother

Categories: child health, women's/maternal health

 

This is the second installment in a five-part series about efforts to save the lives of mothers in Africa through an initiative called Saving Mothers, Giving Life. Be sure to read the other four blog posts in this series.
 

Immaculate and her baby Tumukwaste

Immaculate and her baby Tumukwaste (Photo: CDC-Uganda)

Tumuramye Immaculate, a wife and mother of two from Uganda’s Kamwenge District is a success story, a real-life example of the distance between the old ways of childbirth in Uganda and the new, safer more hopeful method through Saving Mothers, Giving Life.

Erik Friedly, Associate Director for Communication, CDC-Uganda

Erik Friedly, Associate Director for Communication, CDC-Uganda

Immaculate gave birth to her first child like generations of Ugandan mothers have before her – in her home, eschewing modern practices and tools. Luckily, all went well.

But then, as she was pregnant with her second child, the 21-year-old Immaculate began having doubts. Members of village health teams, the basic level of care in much of the country, warned her about the dangers of delivering at home, far from basic medical facilities. The worry was amplified by radio announcements stressing more formal care for pregnant women.

Both efforts were part of the Saving Mothers, Giving Life test program, designed for women like Immaculate, in four Uganda regions. It struck a chord.

Saving Mothers, Giving Life: Tackling Maternal Mortality in Uganda

Categories: women's/maternal health

 

This is the first installment in a five-part series about efforts to save the lives of mothers in Africa through an initiative called Saving Mothers, Giving Life. Be sure to read the other four blog posts in this series.
 

Natukunda Joan and her daughter benefited from SGML (Photo: CDC Uganda)

Natukunda Joan and her daughter benefited from SGML (Photo: CDC Uganda)

It’s not easy being pregnant in Uganda. Nor is it always safe in a country that has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Saving Mothers, Giving Life (SMGL) wants to change that.  

Erik Friedly, Associate Director for Communication, CDC-Uganda

Erik Friedly, Associate Director for Communication, CDC-Uganda

This novel initiative undertaken by Uganda’s Ministry of Health with ample support and guidance from CDC and other partners is showing promise and raising hopes that Uganda’s hard history with childbirth might be easing. 

The hope is rooted in a program whose name captures its essence – Saving Mothers, Giving Life. Unlike earlier efforts that focused primarily on clinical responses to a problem that is both stubborn and sad, SMGL takes a new, more comprehensive approach focusing on often overlooked but critical needs such as reliable and available ambulances, ensuring that clinics are sufficiently staffed with doctors and midwives, and that women are treated with respect and skill so they seek out care rather than avoid it. 

 
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