Friday, April 20, 2007

Road Map to Saving Lives

Every day in Malawi, 16 women die while giving birth. With 1 in every 100 mother's losing their life in child birth - 90 times higher than the rate in the US - the country has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world.

Over the past decade, Malawi has managed to nearly halve its infant mortality rate. However, even today 1 in 10 children die within the first few weeks of birth.

But most of these deaths could be easily prevented - if women in rural areas were aware of the warning signs of the most common dangers and knew where to get help.

The Malawian government, with help from UNDP and UNICEF, is one of the first in the region to develop a road map to making more deliveries safe.

No More Silence, Act Now! includes a national action plan to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, increase the number of trained professionals to attend deliveries, and improve awareness of and access to regular and emergency medical care.

This inexpensive project will also provide much needed information about pregnancy and child birth to the harder to reach areas of Malawi, where women are often not educated about the health dangers they face

Check out more on the project and what else UNDP is doing in Malawi.