Maternal health concerns the health and wellbeing of mothers from before pregnancy (pre-conception), during pregnancy (ante-natal), during and after childbirth (peri- and post-natal). Common impairments and activity limitations from obstetric fistulae, pelvic floor dysfunction, maternal depression and musculoskeletal disorders are outlined and examples of rehabilitation strategies are given. A case study of fistula in Burundi is reported.
This briefing document reviews examples of the progress that Africa has made in reaching the Accelerated Action Towards Africa Fit for Children 2008 - 2012 as adopted by the African Union and Member States in the agreed actions related to Enhancing Life Chances and Child Survival and looks at what more needs to be done. The commitment, "Enhancing Life Chances", entails strengthening health systems to provide quality maternal and child health services; scaling up essential interventions to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality and reduce neonatal mortality; scaling up a minimum package of proven child health interventions; and supporting family and community based actions that enhance children’s health, nutrition and well-being including potable water, improved sanitation and hygiene, appropriate young child feeding practices and food security measures
"This paper summarizes the importance of improving maternal and reproductive health, the progress made to date and lessons learned, and the major challenges confronting programs today. The paper highlights the progress that some countries, including very poor ones, have made in reducing maternal mortality, but cautions that progress in many countries remains slow. Relying on evidence from the most recent research and survey information, the paper also analyzes the key determinants and evidence on effective interventions for attaining the maternal health MDG. The paper finds that key interventions to improve maternal and reproductive health and reduce maternal mortality include the following mutually reinforcing strategies: (a) mobilizing political commitment and fostering an enabling policy environment; (b) investing in social and economic development such as female education, poverty reduction, and improvements in women’s status; (c) providing family planning services; (d) ensuring quality antenatal care, skilled attendance during childbirth, and availability of emergency obstetric services for pregnancy complications; and (e) strengthening the health system and community involvement. The paper emphasizes that carrying out interventions remains a challenge in environments where political commitment, policies, as well as institutions and health systems, are weak. The paper concludes with guiding lessons from some of the countries that have successfully improved maternal health and with a discussion of some of the difficulties of measuring maternal mortality and morbidity outcomes"
The use of maternal health care services by pregnant adolescents could reduce death and disability during pregnancy and childbirth. Youth are less likely to access maternal health services, which explains some of the increased risk they face. This issue of YouthLens argues that the development of appropriate services could help overcome this problem
This book raises critical issues arising from the national and international policies, programmes and services whose aim is to prevent maternal mortality and morbidity. It analyses where safe motherhood initiatives stand today, what has been achieved and what remains to be done, and offers perspectives on making pregnancy, childbirth and abortion safer for women in future. The book reviews work in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kenya, Uganda, Vietnam, India, Tanzania, Mexico, Nigeria, Bolivia, Ghana and South Africa
"This document reports the outcomes of a technical consultation on the full range of issues relevant to the postpartum period for the mother and the newborn. The report takes a comprehensive view of maternal and newborn needs at a time which is decisive for the life and health both of the mother and her newborn. Taking women's own perceptions of their own needs during this period as its point of departure, the text examines the major maternal and neonatal health challenges, nutrition and breastfeeding, birth spacing, immunization and HIV/AIDS before concluding with a discussion of the crucial elements of care and service provision in the postpartum. The text ends with a series of recommendations for this critical but under-researched and under-served period of the life of the woman and her newborn, together with a classification of common practices in the postpartum into four categories: those which are useful, those which are harmful, those for which insufficient evidence exists and those which are frequently used inappropriately."
"This is an overview of evidence of the effectiveness of antenatal care in relation to maternal mortality and serious morbidity, focused in particular on developing countries"
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