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Posts Tagged ‘sub-Saharan Africa’

In April, the Lancet published new maternal mortality estimates (out of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation) that showed a significant reduction in global maternal deaths, shaking up the global health community’s understanding of the global burden of the issue–and providing new hope. The report also illustrated the important links between HIV/AIDS and maternal mortality.

In the wake of the Lancet report, maternal health professionals from various organizations engaged in robust dialogue (like this one) about measurement methodologies–and raised questions about when the World Health Organization would release their estimates and how they might differ from the IHME estimates.

On September 15th, WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, and the World Bank released their new maternal mortality estimates in a report, Trends in maternal mortality. Their report also showed a significant drop in maternal deaths—a 34% decrease between 1990 and 2008.

Excerpt from the WHO press release:

“The new estimates show that it is possible to prevent many more women from dying. Countries need to invest in their health systems and in the quality of care.

‘Every birth should be safe and every pregnancy wanted,’ says Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, the Executive Director of UNFPA. ‘The lack of maternal health care violates women’s rights to life, health, equality, and non-discrimination. MDG5 can be achieved,’ she adds, ‘but we urgently need to address the shortage of health workers and step up funding for reproductive health services’…”

More highlights from the report:

  • Ten out of 87 countries with maternal mortality ratios equal to or over 100 in 1990, are on track with an annual decline of 5.5% between 1990 and 2008. At the other extreme, 30 made insufficient or no progress since 1990.
  • The study shows progress in sub-Saharan Africa where maternal mortality decreased by 26%.
  • In Asia, the number of maternal deaths is estimated to have dropped from 315 000 to 139 000 between 1990 and 2008, a 52% decrease.
  • 99% of all maternal deaths in 2008 occurred in developing regions, with sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia accounting for 57% and 30% of all deaths respectively.

Click here to read the press release and here to read the full report.

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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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