Despite advances in pre and post-natal healthcare, maternal mortality remains at unacceptable levels and renders a heavy burden on the world’s economies and health systems. In 2017, there were about 295,000 reported deaths due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth with low and middle-income countries accounting for the largest proportions. Looking at the actions that have been taken over the years to improve women’s health and the resulting outcomes, it is evident that maternal deaths are preventable. The central idea in preventing maternal deaths is ensuring that selected strategies give holistic care to women throughout their lives, especially during critical moments of pregnancy and during and after childbirth.
Some of the strategies that have been implemented over the years to prevent maternal deaths due to pregnancy-related factors include but are not limited to subsidizing or eliminating the cost of maternity services, training more health workers, and distributing them equitably, establishing more medical centres and educating women on health matters. While all these strategies are necessary and should continue to be implemented, they must go hand in hand with a steady supply of innovative and state-of-the-art gynaecology, birthing, and childcare solutions in healthcare facilities.

In a report published by World Health Organization on the impact of medical equipment in contemporary healthcare services and systems, medical equipment are important for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of illnesses and diseases. Quality medical care should incorporate the appropriate, standardized and adequate resources, comfort amongst patients while getting the service, and safety of all people involved. In low resource settings it is not uncommon for expectant women and new mothers sharing beds or sleeping or delivering on the floor after improvising the space with unconventional items like mats. These conditions put the woman’s life on the line by deterring proper monitoring of the labour and birth process.

As an example, the two main procedures in antenatal check-up are pelvic examination and measurements of foetal growth and position. In the examination, an expectant woman must lie down and open her pelvis at an angle of 35º -50º for the medical practitioner to access the birth canal and cervix and give accurate results. When there are no hospital beds that can allow the mother to be examined in a comfortable and appropriate manner, aside from the resulting discomfort for the mother and her attending healthcare practitioner, there is the risk of complications going unnoticed which can eventually endanger her life.

LINET spol. s r.o. is a part of LINET Group SE, a leading global supplier of hospital beds. The company’s success is based on innovations that help improve the standards of healthcare in more than 120 countries and serve more then 70,000 customers worldwide.

• LINET’s birthing, gynaecology and childcare solutions are designed with the aim to provide maximum safety and comfort.

• Among them is the AVE 2 birthing bed, LINET’s leading functional and eye-pleasing Red Dot Design Award winning product – birthing bed AVE 2 is perfectly suitable for labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum in the childbirth phases, so women in labor and their families can complete normal childbearing feeling like being in their homelike rooms.

• Besides that, AVE 2 provides for enhanced ergonomics for the caregiver; there are also the fully ergonomic gynaecological workplace solutions Gracie and Graciella.

Although there are cases where women deliver safely despite the lack of sufficient beds in labour wards, we must put conditions in place that protect the lives of all mothers, even those with high-risk pregnancies and those that develop complications in labour and delivery. Advanced gynaecology, delivery, and childcare beds can significantly reduce maternal mortality rates by offering a friendly working environment for both women and medical professionals.
To sum it up, while we are increasing our efforts of improving maternal health through adequate financing mechanisms, collaboration, scientific inventions, and other strategies, we should also realize the critical role of medical products. Without the necessary medical products, no matter how trained and motivated health workers are to attend to women’s needs, or how heavily countries invest in establishing healthcare facilities or setting up national programs for improving women’s health, we shall miss the goal if we lack essential medical equipment for maternal care. We should look for and invest in products that will make us strike more than one bird using one stone. These are the advanced and ergonomic products that can create a good working environment for both women and medical professionals, keeping all parties safe, and most importantly, avoiding the financial, social, and psychological losses that follow when a mother dies.
About AHB
Africa Health Business (AHB) is a pan African boutique consulting firm, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, that aims to improve access to equitable healthcare in Africa. Our expert team provides clients with effective, evidence-based solutions for today’s complex healthcare challenges. Clients in government, the development space and the private sector rely on our research and advisory to inform and transform interactions with and use of healthcare systems.

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About AHBS- Africa Women’s Health: The Role of the Private Sector in Advancing Women’s Health in Africa.

AHB curated the Africa Health Business Symposium (AHBS) under the theme: The role of the private sector in advancing women’s health in Africa with the objective to prioritise, explore and strengthen the role of the private sector in advancing women’s health on the continent.

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