How to help poor women deliver safely?

Ndola Prata, University of California, Berkeley
Alisha Graves, Venture Strategies
Maura Graff, University of California, Berkeley
Malcolm Potts, University of California, Berkeley

The current paper examines the realities of women delivering in resource poor settings and recommends cost-effective, scalable strategies for making these deliveries safer. Ninety-nine percent of maternal deaths occur in poor settings and the largest proportion of these deaths are of women who deliver at home, far away from health care facilities, and without financial access to skilled providers. We suggest feasible interventions that can potentially minimize both demand and supply side problems of safe delivery. Financing safe delivery using vouchers, supporting community health funds and community-based insurance are some options that can be implemented in poor settings and made attractive to the donor community through output based assistance. In addition to improving financing schemes, decision-makers must promote demedicalization of emergency obstetric care services and introduction of misoprostol for home births, an easy to use technology to reduce the main cause of maternal mortality – postpartum haemorrhage.

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Presented in Session 18: Community based approaches to improving child and maternal health