New maternity centers will save lives

No one should die giving birth. But in Madagascar, pregnancy-related deaths remain tragically high. For every 100,000 births, there are more than 400 maternal deaths, a number that has remained stubbornly fixed for decades. Too many women are still dying from preventable causes. 

To bring high-quality maternity care to more women, MSI Madagascar upgraded several maternity centers this spring. These updated centers serve cities and towns across Madagascar where maternity care is urgently needed. 

MSI Madagascar’s maternity centers  

In Madagascar, only 38% of births occur at a health facility. Even in urban areas, most births occur at home because there simply aren’t many good options available. Public facilities are affordable but provide low-quality service. On the other hand, the cost of private facilities puts higher-quality care out of reach for many. Restrictive social norms around reproductive healthcare, along with shortages of equipment and providers, further limit women’s options. 

We heard again and again from existing clients that they needed better maternity care. When giving birth is literally life or death, women need access to treatment. That’s why MSI Madagascar is working to close that gap with five new maternity centers in Madagascar’s major towns.  

A large blue and white building at night.
Outside view of MSI Madagascar maternity clinic

MSI’s center in Avaradoha upgraded to a Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric Care facility. This center is now able to help women and newborns with potentially fatal complications, including performing C-sections and treating life-threatening eclampsia. The facility has a new neonatal intensive care unit, ensuring both mother and baby can be treated in an emergency. Additional centers transitioned to Basic Emergency Obstetric Care maternity centers, providing skilled health workers and treatment for complications.  

These areas are already served by MSI Madagascar’s outreach teams that bring contraception closer to women’s homes and network of MSI-supported private clinics. Now, women can turn to a provider they already know when it’s time to give birth.

Two beds with floral bedding in a maternity center in Madagascar.
Inside a patient room at an MSI Madagascar maternity clinic

Why invest in maternal care?  

As part of our 2030 strategy, MSI is working to diversify and expand our services, supporting women from “menstruation to menopause.” Expanding access to high-quality, affordable maternity care is an obvious win for women’s health, especially in places like Madagascar, where rates of pregnancy-related death remain high.  

But there are other benefits to expanding maternity care. In many of the countries where we work, reproductive healthcare remains stigmatized – but maternity care isn’t. This offers an opportunity to build trust in MSI as a healthcare provider. Doctors who are trained in maternity care also have the skills to offer safe post-abortion care, an essential service that must remain available.  

MSI Madagascar’s new centers are an important step towards reducing pregnancy-related deaths. Your support makes it possible for more women to have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. 

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