Preventing Postpartum Hemorrhage in Zambia
Only 47% of births in Zambia are attended by a skilled health provider. Women who deliver without a skilled health provider are at the greatest risk of dying in childbirth, most frequently from postpartum hemorrhage, the leading cause of maternal death. Women in Zambia have a 1 in 27 lifetime risk of maternal death.
To save mothers’ lives by preventing postpartum hemorrhaging at home births with misoprostol tablets for women who are unable to reach a facility to deliver.
The Bixby Center is evaluating a program of our partner Venture Strategies Innovations, to reduce the number of women who die due to excessive bleeding at home births in Zambia. This project distributes misoprostol tablets at antenatal care (ANC) visits to women who cannot reach a facility to deliver. In conjunction with the education that women receive at ANC visits, this program includes extensive education and a community awareness campaign about birth preparedness and postpartum hemorrhage prevention to bolster safe delivery messages. Kapembwa Simbao, the Minister of Health of Zambia, explained in the Times of Zambia “This project will focus on rural communities where 67% of women deliver at home. Until now, we had no means of preventing post-partum hemorrhage for these women. With this project, we can take advantage of our very good rates of ante-natal visits by counseling and distributing this drug at first contact.”
To read about Bixby intern Karen Weidert’s experience working with this project in Zambia click here.