Overview: Making Pregnancy Safer


The levels of maternal and newborn mortality are still unacceptably high in the African Region. Intensified efforts for scaling up priority interventions to improve access to and availability of skilled attendance are needed as the percentage of births attended by skilled personnel is still very low.

The main challenges include inadequate translation of policies into action, weak health systems, especially the acute shortage of human resources, inadequate allocation of funds and poor community participation in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) interventions, aggravated by malaria and HIV infections. In addition, poverty and high levels of illiteracy in many African countries contribute to the low status of women and poor health seeking behaviour of communities which negatively affect women's health.

There is urgent need to accelerate the scaling up of key interventions. The most important challenges that need to be addressed are:

  • Increasing the capacity and availability of skilled personnel to meet national needs;
  • Increasing the availability of adequate financial resources at national and district levels for MNH and reducing the heavy dependence on project funds;
  • Improving the coordination and harmonization of approaches between programmes, levels and partners;
  • Ensuring the integration of programmes at regional and national levels, especially the integration of MIP, NUT, PMTCT and FP into MNCH services.
  • Increasing the community participation

The work in this area is guided by the Road Map for accelerating the attainment of MDGs related to maternal and newborn health. The Making Pregnancy Safer Programme comprises four components:

  1. Skilled Attendance
  2. Newborn health
  3. Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMCT)
  4. Community Involvement.

For more information:

Dr Triphonie Nkurunziza
Telephone: +47 241 39132
E-mail: Cette adresse email est protégée contre les robots des spammeurs, vous devez activer Javascript pour la voir.

Related Links:

  1. WHO Headquaters - Making Pregnancy Safer