Dr. Grace Kagya is an obstetrician/gynecologist at the Eastern Regional Hospital in Koforidua, Ghana. She relies on uninterrupted access to medicines and supplies for maternal health, safe labor and deliveries, and for intrapartum conditions like birth asphyxia.
Dr. Kagya saves lives.
She depends on the supply chain to deliver reliable equipment and adequate supplies of medicine to do her job well.
The USAID Global Health Supply Chain Program-Procurement and Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) project works with national governments to improve supply chains, procure quality health commodities, deliver commodities to health facilities, and train staff to properly manage and use the commodities. This is critical for maternal and child health (MCH) commodities like oxytocin, which is used to manage postpartum bleeding.
Oxytocin must be kept cold during transportation and storage to maintain its quality. It is a lifeline for pregnant women suffering complications during and after childbirth, including excessive bleeding. Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is the leading cause of maternal mortality across the globe.
For every 100,000 births, 310 Ghanaian women die from complications like PPH.
Source: Ghana Maternal Health Study 2017.
GHSC-PSM also supports countries to deliver supplies for newborns and children so they can live healthy, productive lives long past childhood. One set of equipment made available by the supply chain, and which requires careful management by national health ministries, is newborn resuscitation equipment.
This equipment helps clear airways and provides oxygen to newborns who cannot sustain breathing after a mother gives birth. Having this equipment on hand, fully functional, and in the capable hands of trained staff, is critical to bringing newborns safely into the world.
During our interview with Dr. Kagya, an hours-old infant went into cardiac arrest. The labor ward was stunned and panicked. But without hesitation, Dr. Kagya and the assisting midwife sprang into action to resuscitate the baby. After several long minutes, warm pinkness returned to the baby's skin. "He's fine," Dr. Kagya announced, perfunctory yet beaming. The team then rushed the baby to the neonatal intensive care unit for further monitoring.
We owe our lives and those of the ones we love to dedicated, skilled medical workers like Dr. Kagya.
With the support of medical professionals including midwives, families can overcome the challenges that childbirth can bring.
GHSC-PSM supports the Ghana Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service as they train medical professionals to use and manage quality MCH medicines and equipment, so that mothers and babies can return home to their communities, healthy and happy.