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Eswatini: Act now for a safe and respectful childbirth! World Patient Safety Day 2021

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Eswatini: Act now for a safe and respectful childbirth!  World Patient Safety Day 2021

In Eswatini, around 30 women die each year from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth

BRAZZAVILLE, Congo (Republic of), September 24, 2021 / Groupe APO / –

The Kingdom of Eswatini has joined with the rest of the world in commemorating World Patient Safety Day 2021. The country commemorates this day every year since its inception in 2019. The country adheres to the principle that in the delivery of patient care, the first step is to “do no harm”.

In line with the 2021 theme, the commemorations focused on “Safe Maternal and Newborn Care,” urging all stakeholders to “Act now for a safe and respectful childbirth! “.

In Eswatini, around 30 women die each year from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. In addition, around 500 stillbirth and newborn deaths are reported each year. Most maternal and newborn deaths as well as stillbirths are preventable through the provision of safe and quality care by trained health professionals working in supportive environments.

Eswatini is one of the countries adopting integrated approaches to service delivery based on patient needs. In this regard, the Ministry of Health developed the first-ever antenatal care (ANC) guidelines that emphasize the provision of integrated, safe and respectful care.

Dr Charity Newton, a pediatrician at the government hospital in Mbabane, said mothers should prepare before pregnancy and take supplements so that when they conceive the baby, the environment is sufficiently favorable for the baby to grow. .

A woman is encouraged to go to antenatal care (ANC) as soon as she finds out she is pregnant. Antenatal care is the period during which the pregnancy is examined and monitored by the health care practitioner for any risk factors that may compromise the outcome of the pregnancy and lead to the death of the mother or baby.

Dr Kabulu Kadingi, a gynecologist at the government hospital in Mbabane, explains that once the risk factors are selected, a special program is provided to the patient and monitored according to the risk factor. Risk factors can include diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, and HIV infection.

In Eswatini, pregnant women are encouraged to give birth in a health center. At the health center, the health worker can monitor any abnormal progress in labor and act accordingly. Mothers receive skilled assistance during childbirth and have a positive childbirth experience. To ensure safety against infection, mothers are admitted to a clean bed with clean, sterilized linen. Midwives at a healthcare facility ensure that there is a minimum of tearing during childbirth to prevent excessive blood loss. If a tear occurs, sterile instruments are used to repair it so that the mother does not get sepsis.

During the pandemic, some people avoided seeking treatment in health facilities for fear of catching COVID-19 or other infectious diseases. Sister Jane Shongwe, a midwife at the government hospital in Mbabane, stressed that all pregnant women coming to give birth are screened for COVID 19 upon admission. Those with symptoms are tested and if they are positive they are isolated in separate wards. Having a positive COVID 19 test does not compromise the care provided. However, all necessary precautions are taken to protect the mother, baby and health workers.

The World Health Organization in Eswatini is working with the government for a safe and respectful childbirth. To achieve this, the country is supported to implement the WHO Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-2030. Patients are engaged as partners in the provision of quality care, making tangible progress towards universal health coverage.

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