Liberia: 11 Maternal Deaths Reported in Nimba

Within less than five months, the Nimba County Health Team (NCHT) has reported about 11 maternal deaths across the county, prompting concern among health practitioners and ordinary citizens.

Lee Dano, Community Health Promotion Officer of the County Health Team, said the County Health Team is not taking the situation lightly, rather they are tackling it with emergency, because it is a strange scenario in the history of the county's health sector.

Dano informed Radio Nimba Morning Show, "Behavioral Change Communication" that they started recording the 11 cases of the maternal deaths from health and non health facilities beginning January, this year.

Mr. Dano spoke on the topic, "Maternal and Neonatal Death," urged the public, especially pregnant women to always visit health facilities for medical checkups, and avoid seeking traditional treatment.

He said many of the cases derived from delay on the part of the community, and families to promptly transfer victims to nearby health facilities whenever they noticed that the woman is in pain or under complicated conditions.

Mr. Dano said he regretted the situation, which he described as "unrealistic and unprecedented" for a woman to die, while giving birth in this contemporary era.

Based on the situation, he said, the County Health Team has instituted measures to prevent it from reoccurring.

Some of the measures, according to him, includes the imposition of fines on non-licensed midwives or non-licensed medical person(s) that would be caught in a community administering services to pregnant women. Nurse(s) caught in similar situation would be imprisoned if found guilty of deliberate error leading to death of any pregnant woman.

Dano did not say which health facility or community these incidents have occurred, but Radio Nimba established some of the recognized health facilities in the county could be among facilities that have recorded maternal deaths since the beginning of the year.

In the wake of Mr. Dano's concern, the Daily Observer has also received persistent reports of a shortage of essential medical drugs across the county, where patients are now being requested to purchase doctors' prescribed medicines on their own at any pharmacy.

At some points, the cost of medical services and drugs at the various clinics and hospitals(both public and private) is getting so expensive.

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