Innovations in Maternal Mortality Reduction: Use of Misoprostol to Manage Post-Partum Hemorrhage in Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria

Join Francine Coeytaux from the Public Health Institute and colleagues from Ethiopia, Ghana, and Nigeria for a presentation of approaches used in these countries to scale up use of misoprostol at the community level to prevent postpartum hemorrhage.

Postpartum hemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal mortality in low-income countries, accounting for more than 30% of maternal deaths and it is arguably the most preventable. The risk of hemorrhage at birth is highest for women who deliver at home because they do not benefit from the support of skilled birth attendants and are less likely to receive care and medications that prevent postpartum hemorrhage. One promising approach to the prevention of postpartum hemorrhage where the incidence of maternal mortality due to postpartum hemorrhage is high, and many women still deliver at home, is to provide misoprostol—an inexpensive pill that, when taken immediately after delivery, can reduce the risk of postpartum hemorrhage by 24%–47%. The discussion will highlight the lessons learned from three innovative programs that might inform policy makers and program managers in other African countries committed to reducing postpartum hemorrhage and meeting the new Sustainable Development Goals.


07 May 2018