Maternal and infant healthcare

Despite a considerable decrease over the past 10 years, maternal and child mortality remains a scourge around the world, particularly in Africa. In 2015, around 302,000 women died during pregnancy or childbirth. 66% of those cases were reported in sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2015, the rate of maternal mortality in developing countries was 239 for 100,000 births, compared to 12 for 100,000 births in developed countries (source OMS 2016). Almost all maternal deaths (99%) occur in developing countries, with over half in Sub-Saharan Africa: here, qualified healthcare professionals are few and far between and births take place without the assistance of a midwife, doctor or nurse. According to UNICEF, it is relatively easy to improve women’s healthcare in Africa. “All women must have access to prenatal treatment during pregnancy, quality care during childbirth, and follow-up and support after birth.” Isolation, conflict, poverty and lack of information make access to care difficult for women in remote areas.

We are therefore developing sponsorship action in favour of women and girls in African countries where Orange operates. Since 2005, our healthcare priority is providing pre- and postnatal care for impoverished women and paediatric care for children from birth to 5 years old.

 

Maternal and infant healthcare

 

Through our projects we implement actions including construction, providing equipment for treatment centres for women in Africa, screening and vaccination campaigns, the development of applications to improve screening for certain diseases, and training of nursing staff. Some examples:

  • In Madagascar, the Iakora district was provided with a permanent obstetrical ultrasound service. The NGO FIFAHO_B also helps more women with complicated labours and deliveries give birth in the major regional hospital.
  • In Mali, Mercy Corps has created an operational neonatal ward in Bamako’s Point G Hospital, to provide care for new-borns in poor health immediately after birth.
  • In CAR, the rehabilitation of the Bangui General Hospital, led by Doctors Without Borders made it possible to meet the needs for emergency surgery in conditions that meet hospital hygiene standards for more than 105,000 beneficiaries.
  • In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a community healthcare centre with a maternity and children’s ward has helped to develop the capacity of the health carers and the entire town of Kinseso, on the outskirts of Kinshasa.
  • In Niger, the services of the paediatric surgery centre at Lamordé National Hospital have been extended. It is the only one in the country providing paediatric surgery. The action plays a vital role in improving infant healthcare in the country.

 

We work in close collaboration with the Group’s subsidiaries in all the countries within our footprint and in partnership with local associations and NGOs. Pragmatism and effectiveness for the beneficiaries are what guide the choices of the projects to be supported.

 

 

(*) According to “Trends in maternal mortality 1990-2015” published by the WHO (World Health Organization), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Bank and the UN’s population division.