Safe Delivery Maternal Health Program Fund

Priority area: 
Sierra Leone has the world’s worst maternal mortality rate. An experienced team of ANU epidemiologists and public health physicians are working with local partners to halve maternal death rates in just three years.

A crisis in maternal health

One in 17 women die during childbirth in Sierra Leone. This is devastating for families and the entire community.

The vast majority of maternal deaths is preventable but a lack of qualified health personnel, years of civil war and the Ebola epidemic have shattered local health systems. With crisis becoming the status quo in Sierra Leone, aid agencies and governments have been unable to adequately intervene.

Halving maternal deaths

The ANU team, led by Dr Kamalini Lokuge, will work in collaboration with local communities, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) to deliver effective, sustainable and scalable solutions that leverage and transform existing programs.

MSF doctors are providing life-saving services to pregnant women and their newborns. However, long lasting change will need deeper and systemic solutions, which Sierra Leonean health staff can implement after MSF leave. The MoHS is currently being strengthened to build a capable local health workforce and community.

The ANU team will use their unique model, which has proven successful in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and in helping tackle family and sexual violence in Papua New Guinea, to build partnerships with in-country agencies, doctors and universities.

Research centres, set up jointly with local universities, will then train and develop local health personnel, continue to deliver critical services and facilitate ongoing collaboration. This will ensure a sustainable impact is made from within the community.

With your financial support, our team can deliver critical solutions and work to halve maternal death rates in Sierra Leone in just three years.

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