In Togo, the majority of pregnant women and newborn babies do not have access to appropriate healthcare during pregnancy, delivery and the early years. Sadly, the consequences can be fatal - the infant mortality rate in Togo is high, particularly in the maritime region, and 398 in 100,000 mothers die as a result of complications during childbirth.
Currently, many women have to travel long distances to reach the nearest health facility and find that the medication and expertise they need is not available when they get there. As a result, women are deterred from attending pre-natal appointments and opportunities to detect abnormalities and provide basic care are missed.
Funding from the French Development Agency (AFD) has allowed HI to invest in the renovation of 10 health centres in the maritime region of Togo. Pictured is the pharmaceutical storage unit at Tabligbo district hospital, where simple improvements to the security and quality of the building allow the hospital to store and prescribe all necessary medicines to support the maternity unit.
Across the 10 centres many different adaptations have been made, from increasing the number of toilets and making them accessible to people with disabilities, to increasing the number of maternity rooms from 3 to 21. The project also provides training for health centre staff to ensure that all essential maternity and early child care can be correctly provided on site.
The project is due to run until 2019, at which point HI anticipates that neonatal mortality in the Maritime region will have been reduced by 20% and maternal mortality by 25%.