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A
focus on maternal mortality

Written by Amy McPherson, 2 years ago, 1 Comment
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Each day, 800 women die from preventable causes related to childbirth and pregnancy. Worldette writer Amy Huang explores the issue and what’s being done to help.

Imagine a world where women do not receive the necessary care required for the delicate procedures of childbirth; imagine still having to travel up to 20 kilometers to fetch water while being heavily pregnant; imagine the devastation to the family when the prospect of a baby turns into tragedy as the mother’s life slips away due to severe bleeding or infections.

This world is not far away. In fact, a world where women regularly die from pregnancy and childbirth is right in front of our eyes.

The facts

According to the World Health Organization around 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth every day. Of these cases, 99% occur in developing countries, with three fifth of the deaths occurring in sub-Saharan African alone.

Many of these deaths are caused by severe bleeding, infections due to unhygienic birthing conditions, untreated high blood pressure during pregnancy, unsafe abortion methods used in many cultures, as well as illnesses contracted during pregnancy such as malaria and AIDS.

A United Nation estimate states that for every woman who dies during pregnancy or childbirth, around 30 more women will suffer injury, infection and long term physical and mental disabilities.

While the modernized world improves on health care and medical technologies, maternal mortality in developing countries remains an ongoing crisis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Improving maternal health in developing countries is one of the Millennium Development Goals made in the year 2000. While there have been improvements since then, the unfortunate fact is that many women still don’t receive care during pregnancy and childbirth due to factors such as poverty, remote living conditions, lack of education, inadequate care facilities and outdated cultural practices.

What needs to be done

Solutions to reducing maternal mortality are simple ones, and these include better community education of such issues; access to clean water; access to better health care facilities; access to qualified and well trained medical staff; enhanced financing and a strengthening of government policies in regards to women’s health.

These solutions cannot be implemented however, without the aid of the international community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In September 2012, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon launched a global movement called Every Women, Every Child (www.everywomaneverychild.org) to mobilize and intensify global action to improve the health of women and children around the world.

His vision is that through commitments made by global organizations, including governments and policy makers and philanthropic institutions, every part of the solution can be implemented worldwide.

So far, the movement has secured more than 250 commitments and active donors to the cause.

Help is at hand

Along with the UN, many non-profit organizations are dedicating their efforts to women’s health, like the Women and Health Alliance International (www.waha-international.org), who partners with African and Asian midwife associations, hospitals and medical specialists to implement solutions which address the most immediate problems in women’s health.

They believe that “we cannot accept that today women still die in the act of giving birth” and the organization’s volunteers work alongside local medical teams to deliver the highest possible quality medical care and research activities.

Some of their previous patients, grateful for the care they received, have become nursing aids themselves to give back to the work that’s helping their communities.

While it’s encouraging to know people are fighting for women’s rights to give birth safely no matter where they live, the facts are still shocking. Do you think enough is being done about the maternal mortality crisis?

Tell us your reactions and thoughts in the comments below.

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About Amy McPherson

Amy is corporate slave who is a travel junkie at heart. Thanks to public holidays and annual leave allowances, she never passes an opportunity to get out of the house, and only wishes it was closer to the airport. She studied in Germany, met her husband while doing volunteering work in Peru and got married in Vanuatu. They have no plans to stop travelling yet, though their cats keep complaining about their frequent absences.

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