Increasing capacity and access to midwifery care saves lives. Globally, over 287,000 women die from pregnancy and childbirth related causes each year, or about 800 women a day. Nearly 90% of these deaths are preventable. In Uganda, maternal mortality remains high at 440 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births despite the recommended Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Many of these deaths could be prevented with full access to midwifery care. While approximately 94% of all Ugandan women giving birth received some antenatal care by a healthcare professional (doctor, nurse, or midwife), only 36% of women in rural areas delivered in a health facility, compared to 79% of those living in urban areas.
Currently, VBI is serving 45 villages through our mobile midwifery clinic in the northern region of Uganda. We are affiliated with Gulu Regional Referral Hospital, working with a team of independent nurse midwives and traditional birth attendants, in partnership with local surrounding health centers. We collaborate with village health team mobilizers to organize outreach efforts for the women receiving antenatal and postpartum care. Many of the areas we serve are remote villages that are very difficult to access. Outreach and collaboration in our community-based model is essential to supporting sustainability and cohesion. The collaboration between VBI, the ministry of health, health center midwives, traditional birth attendants, and village mobilizers maximize the efficiency of our mobile midwifery services.
We are currently working with the district of health in the northern region of Uganda to address some key factors:
- Access to midwifery and healthcare
- Lack of midwives
- Quality maternal care
- Lack of equitable resources for midwives and families