Boosting maternal health in Puntland through the CARMMA

9 July 2015
©The CARMMA Goodwill Ambassador visits a pregnant woman in GGH

The Goodwill Ambassador for the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA) in Puntland, Honourable Anisa Abdulkadir Haji Mumin, has pledged to advocate for more resources to meet the needs for basic commodities and equipment to ensure that no woman dies while giving birth. Honourable Haji Mumin is also the Minister of Women Development and Family Affairs of the Puntland State of Somalia.

The CARMMA Goodwill Ambassador made the pledge as she visited Garowe General Hospital (GGH) and Jowle maternity waiting home on July 5 where she noted a lack of equipment such as ambulances and hospital beds.

"I will continue raising awareness on the CARMMA until everyone in Puntland, including mothers living in remote areas, are fully aware of the what they can do, as agents of change, to contribute to the reduction of maternal, newborn and child mortality," said Honourable Haji Mumin.

The Campaign for Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA) is an African Union Commission (AUC) and UNFPA initiative to intensify the implementation of the Maputo Plan of Action for the reduction of maternal mortality on the continent. Several UN agencies, bilateral donors and NGOs support the CARMMA at the national, regional and global levels. CARMMA was initiated by the AUC in recognition of the daunting challenge of reducing maternal mortality in most African countries.
Honourable Haji Mumin also promised to accelerate more actions across Puntland to not only increase awareness on maternal and neonatal health, but also to mobilise resources for expansion of the availability and the use of accessible high quality maternal and neonatal health services.

The CARMMA Goodwill Ambassador was welcomed at the hospital by the GGH Director General Dr. Abdisamid as well as the head of the maternity department Dr. Habiba Nuh, and doctors, midwives, and other GGH staff who work at the hospital maternity ward.

The mission started with a tour through the maternity ward by the director general of the hospital, who explained that services provided by the hospitals to mothers include antenatal care, labour care, postnatal care, birth spacing services and immunisations to the newborn.

After the tour around the ward, Honourable Haji Mumin, UNFPA staff members, officials from the Ministry of Health and and GGH staff discussed challenges and the way forward on the CARMMA.

"Although the maternity ward has thoroughly improved over the recent years, we lack some basic services at the hospital such as an ambulance to timely transport mothers to the referral hospital," Dr. Abidsamid.

The Ministry of Health officials suggested addressing the issues raised during technical working group gatherings such as the monthly reproductive health working group held at the ministry, in order to facilitate resource allocation through partnerships and coordination.

During the visit to Jowle maternity waiting home, which is also supported by UNFPA and implemented by African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) in coordination with MoH, Mr. Mohamed Bashir, program manager of the maternity waiting home, welcomed the CARMMA Goodwill Ambassador.

"The maternity waiting home was established to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity rates among pregnant mothers and infants who are in the Internally Displaced Persons Centre in Jowle, Puntland, through provision of reproductive health services," said Mr. Bashir.

He also mentioned that the facility has an ambulance used to refer mothers with complicated to Garowe hospital. 
One of the challenges expressed by Mr. Bashir was the lack of basic laboratory equipment and Honourable Haji Mumin pledged to advocate for resources for the equipment.

On November 2014, the Puntland Government, UNFPA and other partners renewed their commitment to scale up efforts towards reducing maternal, neonatal and child morbidity and mortality when they launched the CARMMA. His Excellency President of the Puntland State of Somalia, Dr. Abdiweli Mohammed Ali Gaas appointed Honorable Anisa Hajimumin, as the CARMMA Good will Ambassador of the Puntland State of Somalia.

During the tour to GGH and the Jowle maternity waiting home Honorable Anisa Hajimumin was accompanied by the Vice Minister of Health Honourable Amina Mohamoud, other Ministry of Health officers and staff from UNFPA.

By:Jihan Salad