Emergency Obstetric Care

All pregnant women are at risk of obstetric complications. In roughly 15 percent of deliveries, an unpredictable complication occurs, such as severe bleeding, hypertension, infection, and obstructed labor. When this happens, it is essential that women have access to life-saving emergency obstetric care, including cesarean delivery.

The leading causes of maternal death can be treated at a well-staffed, well-equipped health facility that is able to provide emergency obstetric care services.   Many newborns who would otherwise die can also be saved at such a facility.

The equipment that Direct Relief has provided has greatly improved both maternal and neonatal outcomes at Rugarama Hospital and in the district at large. Now, women don’t die from complications of hemorrhage and obstructed labor and the hospital is better able to take care of neonates and premature babies in our neonatal unit, the only such facility in the region. Rugarama Hospital is committed to putting the donated equipment to the intended purpose as it is the least we can do in appreciation of Direct Relief’s support.” Dr. Gilbert Mateeka, Medical Superintendant at Rugarama Hospital

Many women are not able to access timely emergency care because health facilities in remote and rural areas are often poorly equipped to manage obstetric complications. Since 2006, Direct Relief has provided medical equipment and supplies to hospitals and health centers in high-need areas to enable them to initiate or expand their emergency obstetric care services. By ensuring trained health providers have access to needed equipment and supplies, Direct Relief is working to reduce preventable death and disability among mothers and infants.