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Monday, December 22, 2014

A look back at the millenium development goal of reducing #maternal mortality - studies from 2004 and 2009 - African Population Studies Vol.19 No.12 & Journal of Postgraduate Medicine Vol.55 No.1

The Guardian recently published an article on a new report compiled by a number of health organizations such as WaterAID and WHO that calls for action on water sanitation and hygiene care that could greatly reduce maternal deaths in Africa. The article notes that goal number 5 of the United Nation's millenium goals between 1990 and 2015 was to reduce the maternal mortality ratio. The Guardian notes that although rates have been improving in some countries, low-income and middle-income countries have yet to succeed in reaching this goal. The Guardian notes that among these countries are Tanzania and South Sudan.

Several articles on Bioline have discussed this issue in relation to different countries. Among them is an article from ten years ago in African Population Studies vol.19 no.12 named: "Maternal and Child Health among the Urban Poor in Nairobi, Kenya" by Monica Magadi. This study takes a look at the health care provided to infants and their mothers in the slums of Nairobi, and Kenya.
Magadi notes that although it is important to consider the care and quality of services provided to the infants and their mothers, their overall health prior is equally as important. Unfortunately, many of these deaths occur as a direct result of diseases and malnutrition from lack of services and necessities such as food, shelter, health care, nutrition and water sanitation. Diarrhea is also prevalent in Nairobi, especially for people living in slums. Only 53 per cent of slum residents have access to safe drinking water. In the three major slums in Nairobi, it was reported that most water does not go directly to their houses but instead is purchased from informal traders or taken from communal water points. These conditions make for poor health of both the children and their mothers, and Magadi notes that they require urgent attention.

Another article, "An autopsy study of maternal mortality: A tertiary healthcare perspective" by Panchabhai et al. in the Journal of Postgraduate Medicine vol.55 no.1, discusses this millenium goal in relation to India. Panchabhai et al. note that many maternal deaths in India are attributable to sepsis, infection and hemorrhage. This study evaluates the maternal deaths that occurred between January 1998 to December 2006. Tuberculosis, malaria and meningitis were amongst the cases of deaths.

These articles highlight the need for action to be taken in preventing more maternal deaths, particularly in developing countries.


You can find more articles on Bioline on maternal mortality here.

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