The Minister of Health Dr Ahmed Samateh

has said that maternal deaths are “on the decline” but revealed that hypertension and excess loss of blood are among the killers of women in labour.

Dr Ahmed Samateh made the statement at the handing over ceremony of a donated blood refrigerator from the Gambia Maternal Blood Bank Project in partnership with Join Hands To Save Babies.

“Maternal deaths have been declining in The Gambia and even though they are high over [a certain] the period,” he said, adding that “The Gambia’s maternal ratio is one of the lowest in the sub-region and we don’t want [a] single mother to die anymore during labour.

“Hypertension in pregnancy quite kills a lot of pregnant women in the country and loss of blood, prolonged labour and other causes,” he added.

Dr Samateh thanked the donors and said the blood refrigerator will highly complement government efforts “to ensure availability and save blood in our hospitals.

“We thank Amie Jarjue for her work in providing needs for the Gambians, what we can do for our country as the country is poor with limited resources,” he said.

Mariama Jammeh, programme manager of National Blood Transfusion Services said the project seeks to reduce the challenges of blood inadequacy in the  health sector. 

“The refrigerator is specially designed to store blood and she spent over 1 million dalasi since the launching in October,” she said.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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