Over the course of her life, a woman in Zambia faces a 1 in 79 chance of dying during pregnancy and childbirth.
In Zambia, many women live miles from the closest health facility with few, if any, affordable and safe transportation options, making it difficult for them to receive the quality, timely care they need during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum.
The Maternity Waiting Homes Alliance aims to overcome this distance challenge by building and strengthening
maternity waiting homes — residences near health facilities where pregnant women can stay until they go into
labor and immediately after childbirth. The goal is to make these homes sustainable by empowering local communities to both effectively manage them and generate income to support their operations through creative entrepreneurial activities, therefore ensuring the homes and the services they provide are available for the long term.
Three women wait outside the Namwianga Health Center in the Kalomo District, a health facility in rural Zambia.
Africare representative visiting rural community outside Lundazi district.
A mother holds her child in a small village outside Lundazi. MSD for Mothers is working to overcome distance challenges to enable women to receive timely, quality care.
Young mother receives the medical care and attention needed to promote a healthy pregnancy.
A mother is transported by ox cart to a maternity home so she can be near a health facility as she awaits labor and delivery.
A community health worker discusses safe motherhood practices with women living in a rural village outside Lundazi, encouraging them to consider staying at a maternity home in the late stages of pregnancy so they can be closer to a health facility when they are ready to give birth.
A nurse at the Namwianga Health Center shows off the facility's kits for preeclampsia and postpartum hemorrhage – the two leading causes of maternal mortality.
MSD for Mothers meets with Jhpiego in Lusaka to learn more about maternity waiting homes and how they can help reduce maternal mortality in Zambia.
A shot of the Dimbwe Rural Health Center, a small primary health center with a maternity home. With just a staff of four, this facility provides a wide range of maternal health services.
A woman walks between the Kalomo District Hospital and the nearby maternity home, where women wait with their families as they prepare to give birth.
A woman sits on a bed at the maternity waiting home on the grounds of the Namwianga Health Center. MSD for Mothers' work in Zambia focuses on developing sustainable models for maternity homes.
Women wait at the maternity home just outside the Kalomo District Hospital, a local health facility with a catchment area of 270,000 people.
Two men stand on a flooded road just outside Lusaka. During Zambia's rainy season, many roads become unusable, making transportation for childbirth particularly difficult.