During a June summit in Hluhluwe, 300 midwives from Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) Province, South Africa pledged to play their role in fighting tuberculosis (TB) among children and pregnant women. The summit, entitled “No Women or Child in KZN Should Die from Preventable Causes”, was hosted by the Provincial Department of Health and supported by the USAID TB CARE II Project and other partners. It was designed to highlight how TB affects pregnant women and discuss the crucial role that midwives can play in reducing maternal morbidity and mortality.
Untreated TB can increase pregnancy complications and put women at greater risk of maternal morbidity due to miscarriage or abortion, post-partum haemorrhage, labour difficulties, and pre-eclampsia. The risk of maternal morbidity further increases in women who are also HIV positive.
At the event, TB CARE II distributed TB screening tools and patient smart cards for midwives to use in their work. The project also organized a walk to promote public awareness of the dangers of TB for mothers and children. Participants wore branded t-shirts and carried banners that further emphasized this message.