Safe Blood – Saving Mothers’ Lives in North Darfur

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Today 60 percent of maternal deaths take place in humanitarian and fragile contexts. Pregnant women and girls face increased risk amidst destroyed, damaged, and ill-equipped health facilities, and health worker shortages. In North Darfur, UNFPA and the Ministry of Health are working to provide quality health services to save the lives of mothers and newborns.

Thanks to financing from the Central Emergency Revolving Fund (CERF), the El Fasher Maternity Hospital in North Darfur has a new blood bank facility to ensure safe blood and safe deliveries. This is good news for the many pregnant women who reach the hospital after traveling long distances, with complicated obstetric conditions that are potentially life-threatening.

Each month, the hospital receives an average of 569 obstetric cases, including about 149 caesarean sections and 215 cases of miscarriage management. But it was struggling to cope with the increasing numbers of women from host communities and displaced from camps, in need of emergency obstetric care.

Before the renovation of the blood bank, the blood storage refrigerator was too small, the floors of the building were cracked posing infection risks, laboratory equipment was insufficient, and the electricity supply was unstable.