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Maternity waiting homes being constructed to reduce chances of maternal deaths - Min. Anthony

Maternity waiting homes are currently being constructed in Regions One, Seven, and Eight for expectant mothers. This is an effort to reduce the chances of maternal deaths.

Despite progress made over the last few years, Guyana continues to experience challenges with maternal mortality. Maternal mortality refers to deaths due to complications from pregnancy or childbirth.

Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony said although the Ministry has embarked on initiatives aimed at addressing this issue, it continues to be a challenge, especially in the hinterland.

Speaking on Friday’s COVID-19 Update, Dr Anthony said one of the main challenges is the distance a mother has to travel when they go into labour.

“Very often when they start getting signs of labour, then is when they would try to get to the hospital and if they’re several hours away […] they don’t get to the hospital on time,” he said.

This often leads to complications during the birthing process and, eventually, maternal deaths.

Maternity waiting homes are accommodations at or near a health facility where pregnant women can stay in the final weeks of their pregnancy to be easily transferred to the health facility to give birth. This will eliminate the long distances mothers have to travel.

“She’ll be able to give birth safely, and after giving birth and she’s okay, and so forth, she comes back to the waiting home and then would go home afterwards.”

“That helps to ensure that there is a safe environment and you don’t have to rush to try to get to the hospital once labour starts, you’re already near the hospital.”

According to the Minister, maternal deaths will drop significantly with this type of intervention, especially in hinterland communities.


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