To test the potential of misoprostol in Ghana for reducing maternal death due to postpartum hemorrhage, the MacArthur Foundation supported the Earth Institute to pilot an innovative approach to community-based distribution of misoprostol through the Millennium Village Project in the Ashanti region of Ghana. The model trains community health extension workers and traditional birth attendants to reach women in their communities with information about misoprostol and encouragement to attend antenatal services. At the antenatal visit, trained midwives distribute misoprostol to women during their third trimester for use at home in the event that access to facility delivery is not possible. This collaborative model between skilled providers and community-based agents is proving highly effective in encouraging women to either deliver at facilities with the assistance of skilled providers or have access to misoprostol for use after delivering at home, thereby preventing maternal deaths.

Citation

Esther Azasi, Francine Coeytaux, and Elisa Wells, Public Health Institute, December 2014

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