Over 150 delegates from across Grand Bassa County's eight health districts are expected to assemble in the Port City of Buchanan on June 13 and 14 to participate in a Maternal and Newborn Health Conference under the theme; No to Maternal and Newborn Deaths with slogan, Mama and Baby Must Live. The two-day gathering is jointly convened by the Ministry of Health, Grand Bassa County Health Team and health partners with support from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP)/ Restoration of Health Services project implemented by Jhpiego
This release quotes organizers that this maternal and newborn health conference will bring together a wide range of stakeholders including; government officials and traditional leaders (Superintendent, Commissioners, Paramount, Clan and General Town Chiefs), community representatives (elders, women and youth groups) the media, and health partners.
The purpose of the gathering is to "celebrate gains made in the fight against maternal and newborn deaths and morbidities; raise awareness, advocate for better maternal and neonatal health as well as determine solutions and strategies to reduce Maternal and Newborn deaths in Grand Bassa County".
It is also anticipated that participating stakeholders will come up with statements and commitments aimed at improving maternal and newborn health services.
This release quotes the Liberia Demography Health Survey (LDHS) that the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in Liberia has increased from 994 to 1072 per 100,000 livebirths from 2007 to 2013 while the neonatal mortality rate has reduced from 32 to 26 per 1000 live births during the same period.
Since then, the release notes, efforts have been made at various levels to address this alarming rate of maternal and newborn deaths by improving health coverage in Antenatal Care (ANC), Skilled Birth Attendants (SBA), Essential newborn care and Post Natal Care (PNC). However, sustaining and consolidating gains made and improving on the provision of better services remains a major challenge to the national health planners and actors.
The Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP) is a global U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) cooperative agreement with a mandate to introduce and support high-impact health interventions in 26 priority countries with the ultimate goal of ending preventable child and maternal deaths (EPCMD) within a generation.
In response to the 2014 Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Outbreak, USAID/Liberia requested MCSP to support its commitment to restoring quality Maternal and Child Health (MCH) services through the MCSP/Restoration of Health Services (RHS) project. This project, funded with Ebola Emergency Funding, is particularly focused on Infection Prevention and Control, and Restoration of Maternal and Child Health services in 77 facilities in Grand Bassa, Nimba and Lofa. Due to Jhpiego's history in Liberia, MCSP/RHS is uniquely positioned to contribute to USAID/Liberia's strategy toward improved MCH service delivery and ending preventable child and maternal death.
It is envisioned that commitments made and strategies developed from this conference will be implemented fully to help reduce maternal and newborn deaths and morbidities in Grand Bassa County and best practices will be shared with other counties within Liberia; the press release concluded.