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Pregnant Women Need Improved Access To Maternal, Labor Care

“As a midwife of more than fifty years and founder of my country’s first maternity hospital, I have seen how easily joy can turn to grief and tragedy when expecting mothers lack access to the expert medical care the Duchess of Cambridge received,” Edna Adan Ismail, founder and director of the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital in Somalia, writes in the Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog. “Women in my country have a one-in-10 chance of dying in childbirth. In developed countries, it’s closer to one in 4,000,” she notes. “Our women are dying of causes that no woman in this day and age, when man has reached the moon, should die of,” Ismail writes, adding, “According to the U.N., a woman dies every 90 seconds of pregnancy-related causes. That’s 1,000 women a day.”

“I’m proud to say that we have cut maternal mortality to a quarter of the national average, largely through training of midwives, improved prenatal care, early referral, and immediate response to obstetrical emergencies,” Ismail writes, adding, “If we can do it here, with our limited resources, it can be done anywhere.” However, “governments must decide that the health of their mothers is a worthwhile investment,” she continues. “I and everyone at the Edna Adan Hospital send our blessings and wish proud parents William and Kate great happiness as they bring home their bundle of joy,” she states, concluding, “My greatest wish is that one day every mother in labor will be treated like a queen” (8/1).