Health Literacy for Enhanced Maternal Health
Preventable conditions related to maternal health, such as severe bleeding after childbirth, infections, hypertensive disorders, and unsafe abortions are responsible for roughly 529 000 deaths with the majority occurring in developing countries. It is estimated that 20% of the burden of disease in children below the age of five is
also related to poor maternal health, nutrition and low quality of care received during delivery and the new-born period. Implementation of the millennium development goals 3 and 5 resulted in a 45% decline in maternal mortality and a drop of 6.7million deaths for children under the age of five. With the alarming increases in antimicrobial resistance, there is a great possibility of regression of these achievements due to resistant strains of infections such as Tuberculosis, sexually transmitted infections, and HIV. As gender inequality has a strong influence on the health of women, young girls are vulnerable when trying to protect themselves from HIV and STIs. Health promotion activities that address gender inequality and issues of disempowerment have great potential to improve health, health outcomes, access to and benefits from health services. Such activities should include both females and males, and should remove gender-based constraints from the socialecological environment.