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In many third-world countries, thousands of mothers die during childbirth due to preventable causes. Pathfinder International, an organization that works to promote sexual and reproductive health in underprivileged countries, has been working since 2007 to tackle this problem and has achieved marked success.
According to the organization, the three main causes of maternal deaths are postpartum hemorrage, sepsis, and high blood-pressure or eclampsia. All of these are preventable via access to the right medical treatment and care. However, many women in countries such as India, Nigeria, Peru, Bangladesh etc. are often prevented from accessing the proper attention or pre-natal education that could save their lives. This, as Pathfinder suggests, can be due largely to, “cultural, economic, and infrastructural barriers that prevent women from seeking and accessing quality maternal health care”. In order to solve this problem (which they have had great success in doing in the countries mentioned above), the organization has developed a model which reaches women in these communities by educating women about birth preparedness and how to plan for medical emergencies. In addition, they also train local healthcare providers to be able to remedy these complications should they arise after the mother gives birth.
This method has been particularly successful in India where Pathfinder distributed over 4,000 birth preparedness calendars (encouraging mothers to plan their trips to the hospital, prepare for any emergency complications, etc.) and provided training to over 250 health care workers.