Despite a considerable decrease over the past 10 years, maternal and child mortality remains a scourge around the world, particularly in Africa. In 2017, around 295,000 women died during pregnancy or childbirth. 66% of those cases were reported in sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2017, the rate of maternal mortality in developing countries was 415 for 100,000 births, compared to 10 for 100,000 births in developed countries (source OMS 2017). Almost all maternal deaths (> 95%) occur in developing countries, with over half in Sub-Saharan Africa: here, qualified healthcare professionals are few and far between and births take place without the assistance of a midwife, doctor or nurse. According to UNICEF, it is relatively easy to improve women’s healthcare in Africa. “All women must have access to prenatal treatment during pregnancy, quality care during childbirth, and follow-up and support after birth.” Isolation, conflict, poverty and lack of information make access to care difficult for women in remote areas.
We are therefore developing sponsorship action in favour of women and girls in African countries where Orange operates. Since 2005, our healthcare priority is providing pre- and postnatal care for impoverished women and paediatric care for children from birth to 5 years old.
Building and equipping a healthcare center for women in Africa, screening and vaccination campaigns, developing applications to improve screening for certain diseases, training healthcare staff… these are all initiatives that we are carrying out through calls for projects, such as, for example:
- In Madagascar, we are supporting the charity Ankohonana Sahirana Arenina (ASA) for the ongoing training of pregnant women and the provision of “Mamy Ny Aina” kits when they give birth. We are also contributing to the establishment of healthcare centers called “Maman Kangourou” within health centers in five Orange villages in collaboration with Compassion Madagascar.
- In Sierra Leone, to reduce the mortality rates of pregnant women and their young children, we are leading the “Kroo Bay Community Multi Disease Screening Booth” project which consists in renovating a health center to provide high-quality mother and infant health services.
- In Burkina Faso, we are enabling the construction and equipping of a maternity ward in the rural municipality of Tchériba. This project, supported by the Association pour la promotion de la santé et le développement (APSROSAD – association for the promotion of health and development) will improve access to mother and infant healthcare.
- In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the creation of a community health center with a mother and infant healthcare unit is developing the capacities of healthcare staff and the whole municipality of Kinseso, in the outskirts of Kinshasa.
- In the Central African Republic, in partnership with the Groupement des Femmes Agro-pastorales pour la Lutte contre le VIH/SIDA (GROUFEPA – Group of Agro-Pastoral Women Fighting HIV/AIDS), we are renovating the maternity ward and its equipment in the village of Mondio and we are helping refurbish the latrines.
We work in close collaboration with the Group’s subsidiaries in all the countries within our footprint and in partnership with local associations and NGOs. Pragmatism and effectiveness for the beneficiaries are what guide the choices of the projects to be supported.