Most maternal deaths are preventable, as the health-care solutions to prevent or manage complications are well known. All women need access to antenatal care in pregnancy, skilled care during childbirth and support in the weeks after childbirth. CoBI has constructed three maternity clinics, in Bukavu, Uvira and Mumosho. On average, one baby is born every day in the clinics (approximately 350 births per year). This local statistics fits with birth rates in DR Congo (34 births, per year, per 1,000 population). Thus, in a DR Congo community such as Kahungu which has 12,000 persons, approximately 400 births would be expected annually. The statistics indicates that almost all the births are occurring at the maternity clinics.
The clinics have a small reception room, a delivery room and room with four beds for after care. The maternity clinics are reducing maternal death and child mortality. CoBI nurses state that in conditions of extreme poverty in DR Congo, 4 out of 10 women will die in child birth in their lifetime without adequate maternity health supports. Published statistics for all of DR Congo place the risk at 1 in 10, however, in villages of extreme poverty the higher death rates are plausible, especially if a village reaches a 10% or greater risk of death for each birth and if total number of pregnancies reach a total of 10 or more.
The clinics also promote child health and reduce the overuse of local dispensaries which dedicated most of their resources and space to maternity issues before the construction of the maternity centers. I have compiled some picture of the newly built maternity clinics.