African authorities have moved fast to mobilize funds and strengthen their emergency preparedness and response capabilities. But particular attention has to be paid into the most exposed members of the populace.

Over two-thirds of this world’s maternal deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. The major cause of maternal deaths is insufficient access to care during pregnancy or delivery or after birth.

The world has dedicated to improving maternal health through healthcare. Over four-fifths of maternal deaths are linked to inferior and insufficient maternity services during pregnancy and childbirth and six months following birth.

COVID-19 and measures set up to curtail its spread can worsen the already bad access to quality maternal health services in areas of the continent. As an instance, the continuing transmission reduction strategies like lockdown and curfews may intensify the dire effects caused by the lack of accessibility to quality health services and from preexisting maternal health issues. And fighting health systems might not have sufficient capacity and room to attend these regular health care requirements.

Affected Services

Using maternal health services such as healthcare, skilled shipping, and healthcare has a substantial effect on the general health of the mother. But health systems throughout the continent might be unable to take care of the problem in case of mass ailments.

For example, throughout the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the World Health Organisation (WHO) implied there was a substantial decrease in maternal and newborn medical care usage. This was mainly because of extended healthcare systems. Proof of this can be the lack of referrals for complex scenarios.

The WHO also warned that this could cause poor maternal and newborn health unless backed with the supply of context-specific services. They revealed a substantial decrease in the uptake of maternal health services throughout the Ebola outbreak. This had persistent consequences following the crisis ended.

As a result, the epidemic pushed back the positive strides that was attained in maternal health in the area.

What Girls Need

Girls in several African nations have trouble getting adequate pre- and healthcare. They face delays in receiving proper medical aid to get a pregnancy-related crisis, attaining an suitable facility and receiving sufficient care if a facility is attained.

This, in turn, reduces accessibility to respectful, proficient, comprehensive and culturally appropriate maternal health care.

These flaws may be worsened by “remaining in the home and physical distancing” measures. And COVID-19 disruptions can cause shortages in the distribution chain for maternal fertility medications. This may specifically impact emergency maternity services, such as deliveries which need critical care.

Additionally, pregnancy aggravated or preexisting ailments such as poor access to nourishment may put pregnant moms at greater risk.

The Way Forward

The African context needs a special approach to boost maternal health throughout the COVID-19 catastrophe. Particular efforts have to be made to create consciousness concerning that maternal health services are accessible — regularly and during lockdowns and curfews.

These may consist of strengthening media policy to inspire mothers to get solutions, together with precautionary measures in place. Further measures also have to be taken. By way of instance, Kenya has reviewed community health volunteers’ work bundles so they are encouraged to perform home-to-home visits, provide counselling and identify moms who demand special attention. This might be improved through referrals to another level gym.

Initiatives such as this have to be scaled up throughout the area. Health facilities need to also make standby maternity rooms available to make sure that maternity care may be provided in protected states.

And optimistic lessons in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa will direct the continuing attempts.

The guidelines reiterated the execution of those initiatives necessary to be endorsed by proper coverage, oversight and monitoring and analysis. Experiences in the implementation of the emergency response strategies and reduction strategies revealed some positive consequences in maternal and newborn health.

These classes should be implemented by countries at sub-Saharan Africa handling their way throughout the coronavirus pandemic.