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The Personal Health Record - A Tool for Improving Maternal and Newborn Care

The #MaternalMonday Campaign of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa has canvassed the need to improve maternal and newborn care through the use of client-held personal health records. In Nigeria, an estimated 60,000 women die from pregnancy and childbirth related complications on a yearly basis; while another 1.8 million women suffer from long-term disabilities.

Currently, Nigeria alone contributes to 10% of global maternal deaths, placing it as one of the worst countries in the world to give birth in. One major intervention that has proven to be highly beneficial to mothers and their children is the Wellbeing Foundation Africa's Integrated Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (IMNCH) Personal Health Record (PHR). An innovative tool used in the documentation of verifiable data on the health and wellbeing of mothers and their babies - from the birth of the child up until the child is five years of age, the PHR serves to empower mothers and reduce the burden of weak referral systems imposed on maternity services.

Participants who proffered best-practice solutions noted that the PHR serves as a reminder mechanism for health-seeking behavior, an information source for both health care providers and clients, and a client-held family health record. In addition, the PHR helps to enhance early detection and management of maternal and child health problems. All of these features makes the PHR a vital tool that empowers mothers, informs care-givers and enables professionals to provide quality health care for mothers and their children.

#MaternalMonday, the popular weekly information campaign established by Her Excellency Toyin Saraki's Wellbeing Foundation Africa seeks to empower midwives, mothers and their newborns through demand creation for birth-preparedness, reducing the scourge of preventable maternal newborn and child mortality. Mrs Saraki, the Newborn Champion for Save The Children Nigeria, also serves as Global Goodwill Ambassador to the International Confederation of Midwives.

Signed: Communications The Wellbeing Foundation Africa Email: Web:

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