3.5.4 Maternal and newborn health

Maternal and newborn deaths and disabilities often increase in emergencies due to lack of available treatment for unexpected medical complications, even when there are trained personnel available. To promote safe deliveries, all visibly pregnant women should be given a clean delivery kit for home use. These kits may frequently be obtained from UNFPA at the country level or ordered from UNFPA (see Annex 26.5.3 for ordering information). These are packages that are used by the woman or her traditional birth attendants (TBAs) during the birth that are managed at home. A referral system for emergency obstetric care that includes transport and communication systems needs to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A local referral facility should be supported with personnel, medical equipment and supplies. If this is not possible, then an appropriate emergency referral facility for the displaced population should be established.

To prevent maternal and newborn deaths, primary health care facilities should provide basic emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC) and the referral site should provide comprehensive EmONC. It is important to provide materials and drugs including an orientation to midwives and other skilled birth attendants on using these supplies to safely conduct deliveries, deal with complications and stabilise women before transport to the referral level. Refer to Annex 26.5.12 for MNH and EmONC resources. Supplies for these services are included in the RH kits that may be ordered through UNFPA.