WAHA's work on maternal health focuses on two main approaches:
1) promoting safe pregnancy and delivery
2) treating post-partum complications
Within each of these areas, WAHA focuses on delivering interventions with three main inter-linking components: a medical intervention, capacity building, raising local awareness.
Medical interventions for the “safe pregnancy and delivery” projects
The medical intervention component for the “safe pregnancy and delivery” projects includes the provision of treatment and care for women to reduce maternal deaths during pregnancy and delivery, and to reduce the risk of post-partum reproductive health complications. We promote skilled attendance at birth and rapid access to Caesarean sections in the event of obstructed labour as the best strategies to reduce maternal mortality.
Medical interventions for “treatment of post-partum complications”
We adopt a holistic approach to treating postpartum complications. Firstly, we place a strong emphasis on the diagnosis and selection of the most appropriate treatment strategy. In most cases, women undergo surgical repair where necessary, followed by physical rehabilitation. Psychosocial interventions are provided to assist in the patients overall well-being and successful social re-integration into their communities for those who have been excluded.
Both project models adopt a similar strategy in terms of capacity building that includes:
1) local on-site support and training from a visiting team of medical professionals
2) external training sessions
3) twinning programmes between hospital departments in developed and developing countries to facilitate knowledge exchange through practical training opportunities in the host institution.
Raising local awareness to promote safe pregnancy
Both project models aim to raise awareness of maternal health issues in local communities. This strategy focuses on the need to improve local knowledge about how to promote safe pregnancy and delivery. WAHA also develops preventative strategies to decrease medical complications associated with reproductive and post-partum health.