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Posts Tagged ‘Peru’

The controversial research reporting unexpected gains in maternal health, published April 12 in the Lancet, has triggered rigorous debate about the measurement tools used to count maternal deaths globally and at a country level. The paper, Maternal mortality for 181 countries, 1980-2008: a systematic analysis of progress towards Millennium Development Goal 5, was written by Chris Murray and his team of researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. The study found a dramatic reduction in the number of women dying from pregnancy complications between 1980 and 2008–and these findings have triggered both celebration and skepticism within the global health community. Some global health leaders are cheering the global progress toward MDG5 indicated by the research. Some are expressing cautious optimism. Others are challenging the paper’s methodology, asking whether it really signals big gains in the struggle against global maternal mortality or just flawed means of estimating how many women are dying.

On June 5th, the Lancet published a reply from Chris Murray in which he addresses some of the concerns voiced by his fellow global health researchers regarding the methodology of the study.

“We appreciate the rich set of letters in response to our paper on maternal mortality. The authors of the letters raise many important points, but we focus our short response on four larger themes that have been raised.

The country graphs in the webappendix to our paper show all the available data points for each country and our best estimates based on these data and the modelling strategy. In the case of the Philippines, Indonesia, Burkina Faso, and Peru, the correspondents have noted that our data-points derived from the analysis of sibling histories in household surveys are different from published figures from the same surveys. The differences stem from two sources. First, we correct for problems of survivor bias in sibling histories, following the published methods of Gakidou and Kingand Obermeyer and colleagues...”

Read the full reply by Chris Murray on the Lancet Online. Be sure to take a look at some of the critiques of the study–linked on the right panel next to Murray’s reply.

For more on this topic, take a look at a recent post, New Maternal Mortality Estimates Published in the Lancet: What’s the Buzz?, on the Maternal Health Task Force’s new MedScape Blog, GlobalMama.


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Amnesty International will convene three public town hall meetings with Amnesty International leaders and local partner organizations. The three events will be held in San Francisco (April 14th), Detroit (April 17th), and New York City (April 19th).

Amnesty International USA
“Amnesty International will host discussions with local maternal health experts and its national leaders from the United States, Burkina Faso, Peru, and Sierra Leone — countries where the human rights organization has launched campaigns to prevent unacceptably high rates of maternal deaths.”

Wednesday, April 14, San Francisco
5:30-7:30 p.m., San Francisco Public Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin Street
Contact and RSVP: Will Butkus (wbutkus@aiusa.org)

Saturday, April 17, Detroit
2-4 p.m., Northwest Activities Center, 18100 Meyers Road.
Contact: Carrie Neff (cneff@aiusa.org)

Monday, April 19, New York City
6:30 p.m. (doors open 5:30 p.m.), Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive
Contact: Thenjiwe McHarris (tmcharris@aiusa.org).

For more details on these events, click here.

For more information on Amnesty’s recent report on maternal health in the United States, click here.

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Ray Suarez of PBS, travels to Peru to investigate how health officials, obstetricians, nurses and activists are making better use of existing resources and linking pregnant women to those resources—all in hopes of seeing a reduction in maternal deaths. In this article and video, Suarez reports on a system of maternity homes, homes where pregnant women from remote areas can stay in the final stages of their pregnancies in order to be closer to emergency obstetric care, in the event of an emergency.

PBS NEWSHOUR/The Rundown

“…The NewsHour team headed out to the remote rural town of Vilcashuaman, high in the Andes mountains, to see the new approach at work. We visited a Casa Materna, a mother’s house, where three women from communities far away waited to deliver. In a nurse’s office was a felt bullseye map, with the name and due date of all the women in the region known to be pregnant, along with the approximate distances and travel times to their homes…

…Once ready to deliver, a woman can choose a conventional Western delivery table with an elevated bed and leg stirrups, and as part of the new approach traditional birthing chairs are also available. Women who use the chairs do not have to completely undress, very important in a culture in which modesty is prized…”

Read the full story, In Peru: Life for the Life-Givers—and watch the video.

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INDIA
The Hindu

What about the third stage of labor?

A recent study performed in India as part of a Health and Population Innovation Fellowship granted by the Population Council found significant gaps in the management of the third stage of labor, the period between delivery of the baby and delivery of the placenta. These gaps are likely contributing to the high levels of maternal mortality in India. See the full story here.

PAKISTAN
www.DAWN.com

Are women in Pakistan relying on unsafe abortions as a form of birth control?

Population welfare authorities are pleased with recent findings that total fertility rates have gone down in Pakistan–leading to an assumption that access to family planning methods has gone up throughout the country. However, this article, The Untold Story of Abortion, highlights alarming data recently released by the National Committee on Maternal and Neonatal Health in collaboration with the Guttmacher Institute. The data shows that in 2002, 890 thousand induced abortions were performed in Pakistan—a large number clandestinely by untrained midwives. Unsafe abortion is a leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality around the world. Click here to read the full story.

PERU
The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

Discrimination and Maternal Mortality in Peru

This new report, Dying to Give Birth: Fighting Maternal Mortality in Peru, from the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health outlines issues of gender and ethnic discrimination that limit access and quality of care for Peruvian women. The report also contrasts Peru with countries in sub-Saharan Africa—citing differences in the way maternal deaths are distributed within countries. Read the report here.

RWANDA
allafrica.com

Medical Experts Gather to Discuss Obstetric Fistula

Policy makers, clinicians, health officials and community leaders met for a two day conference hosted by the Ministry of Health, the Rwanda Medical Association and the Fistula Care Project (managed by EngenderHealth) to design a road map to eradicate obstetric fistula in Rwanda. Click here for the full story.

Also, click here to see a piece on Huffington Post about Ana Langer, President of EngenderHealth, and the work EngenderHealth is doing to increase access to fistula surgery for women all over the world.

TANZANIA
This Day: The Voice of Transparency

Workshop in Dar es Salaam equips journalists with information on HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health

The Wanawake na Maendeleo Foundation (WAMA) and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) organized a workshop in Dar es Salaam for journalists. The goal of the workshop was to empower journalists with a clear understanding of HIV/AIDS and maternal and child health issues impacting Tanzania. Journalists at the meeting agreed to focus attention on factors impeding the improvement of living conditions for women and children throughout the country. See the full story here.
Also, click here to see a post from last week about a similar workshop for journalists held in Ghana.

ZIMBABWE
RH Reality Check

Progress toward MDG5 might be slow in some places–but in Zimbabwe, the situation is actually getting worse

This piece, Zimbabwe’s Growing Crisis of Maternal Deaths, outlines the factors that have contributed to a maternal mortality ratio that has risen from 138 deaths/100,000 live births in the mid-nineties to 880 deaths/100,000 live births in 2005. See the full story here.

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ZIMBABWE
www.UNICEF.org
User Fees are Limiting Women’s Access to Obstetrics Services
The Government of Zimbabwe along with UNICEF released new social development data which exposed a grim situation for women and children in Zimbabwe. The Multiple Indicator and Monitoring Survey (MIMS), conducted in May 2009 reported a deterioration in access to key social services for women and children, especially for the poorest populations and in rural areas. The survey also revealed alarming data that 1 in 2 pregnant women in rural areas were now delivering at home and that 39 per cent nationally were not accessing the requisite medical facilities for delivery, while 40 per cent were not attended to at birth by a skilled birth attendant. These findings confirm the result of previous research indicating that user fees and other financial barriers are limiting women’s access to life-saving obstetric services.

PERU

www.rhrealitycheck.org
Proposed Abortion Law in Peru is Met with a Divided Governmental Response
In Peru a multidisciplinary committee responsible for revising the Penal Code has raised the issue of decriminalizing abortion in cases of rape or severe disability of the fetus. The Minister of Health, Oscar Ugarte, stated that therapeutic abortion is not against the right of life and announced that it will be regulated, because it is important to save the lives of women. However, the Minister of Defense, Rafael Rey, rejected the proposition and warned that he will resign his position if Congress approves the decriminalization of abortion in these exceptional circumstances. The Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Mercedes Araóz, also rejected the decriminalization of abortion and suggested that the solution in case of rape is adoption.

GHANA
www.peacefmonline.com
The First Lady Calls for the Eradication of Myths/Rumors Regarding Family Planning
The First lady, Mrs. Ernestina Naadu Mills, has called for the eradication of myths and rumors linked to family planning methods to reduce maternal mortality in Ghana. Family planning had been identified to reduce 30 percent of maternal deaths. Mrs. Naadu Mills who was launching the National Safe Motherhood campaign in Koforidua, on Thursday described as unacceptable the fact that most of maternal deaths were preventable and solutions were also available. The current maternal mortality figure for the country stands at about 451 per every 100,000 live births. The campaign aims to accelerate the reduction of maternal and newborn deaths in Ghana in order to achieve 75 percent reduction by the year 2015–Millennium Development Goal 5.

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PERU
Global Call to Action Against Poverty
www.whiteband.org

Maternal mortality is a key area of the Amnesty International Demand Dignity campaign and so on Saturday 17 October Amnesty International decided to draw attention to the situation of maternal mortality in Peru. 100 activists, dressed in black and white masks, paraded with coffins decorated with flowers along the way to the sea under the Bridge of Sighs of Barranco in Lima.

In Peru, a woman dies every 8 hours due to complications in pregnancy, childbirth and post natal care. This is one of the highest maternal mortality rates in Latin America(180 deaths per 100,000 live births according to the government, 240 deaths according to the UN), only surpassed by Bolivia and Haiti.

More information on maternal mortality in Peru–including a short video–can be accessed here.

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