Maternal Healthcare In Rural Malawi Essay

3457 words - 14 pages

Introduction
In this paper, I would highlight the barriers and solution for the maternal mortality conditions in Malawi. Prior to the year 1990, maternal mortality was prevalent and thus became the issue to be included and solve as fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG). The addition of maternal mortality into the goals of solving international issues proves its significance towards building a better society.
The World Health Organization (WHO) describes maternal mortality as,
The death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes. To facilitate the identification of maternal deaths in circumstances in which cause of death attribution is inadequate, a new category has been introduced: Pregnancy-related death is defined as the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the cause of death (World Health Organization 2013)
Maternal mortality is an influential indicator of inequity in society. Among the indicators used to equate the levels of development between countries and regions, levels of maternal mortality show the widest disparities (World Health Organization, UNICEF 1996).
Overview
Malawi, previously known as Nyasaland, became a free nation from the rule of British, in 1967. The country is located in the southeast region of African continent with Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast and Mozambique on east, south and west.
Malawi has an estimated population of 16.5 millions in 2013. Malawi holds diversity across the communities it serves. It has nearly ten different ethnic groups that speak about eight different languages including English, with an official language Chinchewa speaking more than half of the population. In case of religion, country has majority Christians counting to 82.7% and Muslims 13% (Central Intelligence Agency 2013).


Maternal Health in Africa and Malawi
Health of a pregnant woman entirely depends on the support she receives from family members and the way she receives treatment in a health facility. Accordingly, women in developed nations possess low-risk of maternal mortality, while the women in developing nations has high risk of maternal mortality, depending on her socio-economic and cultural conditions.
Women in the continent of Africa possess the highest risk of dying during or after they deliver. It is estimated as 1 in 26 women die in the continent (Lunan, Clements, Mahony, & Hope-Jones 2010, p. 9).
However, maternal mortality rates (MMRs) across Malawi vary according to the socio-economic and cultural conditions of the given region. Malawi Demographic and Health Survey (MDHS) shows that the maternal mortality rate for Malawi almost doubled between 1992 (620 per 100,000 live births) and 2000 (1,120 per 100,000 live birth) and only...

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