Reliable Contraceptives Help Mothers in DRC Avoid High-risk Pregnancy

September 5th, 2018 | Story

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Marie, 22, lives with her aunt in the city of Buta in Bas-Uélé province in the DRC. Her husband serves in the military and is based more than 300 kilometers away.

Marie had undergone Caesarean sections for each of her two previous childbirths, and by the time she arrived to the Buta General Reference Hospital for her third delivery, she was worried about having another baby and operation so soon after her first two. Her cause for concern was not without good reason; shorter birth to pregnancy intervals are associated with increased risk of maternal mortality and morbidity and in the DRC, the maternal mortality ratio is exceedingly high at 846 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.

“Thanks to the MCSP program, the women in my community can now choose to space their births safely and free of charge.” – Marie

Marie shared these concerns with her health care providers, who had recently been trained by the MCSP on postpartum family planning methods. The providers counseled her on options that are available free-of-charge, thanks to MCSP’s support.

Marie opted to receive an intrauterine device during her Caesarean section, the first client to receive one with the support of the MCSP in the DRC. Half-a-year later, nearly 4,000 women have newly initiated FP services across the 48 health centers and hospitals where MCSP provides FP.

Marie, relieved to have a safe, effective, and affordable FP method, has spread the word among her family and peers, and encouraged them to attend FP educational sessions at the hospital.

USAID’s flagship Maternal and Child Survival Program supports high-impact health interventions with a focus on 25 high-priority countries with the ultimate goal of ending preventable child and maternal deaths within a generation. JSI leads the work in the areas of child health, immunization, and pediatric HIV.

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