The warning comes from a team writing in the Lancet as part of its Maternal Survival Series, which begins today. The authors call for action on the part of donors and governments to develop a clear strategic vision to reduce the ‘largest discrepancy of all public health statistics’.
Women living in the world’s poorest countries face a hugely disproportionate burden. Women in Sub-Saharan Africa face a one in 16 risk of dying during pregnancy or childbirth, and in South Asia a one in 43 risk, compared with one in 30,000 in Sweden. Good maternal health is crucial to the welfare of the whole household. Preventing the death of a mother has critical impacts on the health of a child, and improvements in maternal health link to achievements in other MDGs related to poverty eradication, female empowerment, child survival and infectious disease.
The authors say that although the challenge of reducing maternal deaths is complex, we already know enough about what works to begin to take action. Dr. Carine Ronsmans, Reader in Epidemiology and Reproductive Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and one of the series authors, comments: ‘Maternal deaths cluster around labour, delivery and the immediate postpartum, with obstetric haemorrhage as the main medical cause. For this reason delivery with a skilled attendant must be the priority. This is a huge challenge with no quick fixes and progress in the poorest countries is jeopardized by absence of human resources, weak health systems, continuing high fertility, and poor data.
‘The immediate priority for Governments and donors should be to invest in the training, deployment and retention of skilled attendants, especially midwives, who we know can make a huge difference and save large numbers of lives. Having midwives and other workers in teams in facilities will optimise high coverage. Skilled attendance has also been endorsed as an effective strategy to reduce neonatal deaths.
‘The challenge of reducing maternal deaths will require long-term support, and by long-term, we mean at least ten years, and probably longer. Donor investment will be vital, as will resource-tracking mechanisms to hold all countries, donors, and other actors to account.
Dr. Oona Campbell, Reader in Epidemiology and Reproductive Health at LSHTM, and Professor Wendy Graham, Professor of Obstetric Epidemiology at the University of Aberdeen, the authors of the second paper in the series, conclude: ‘In signing up for MDG 5, countries have indicated their vision. But it is meaningless unless it is translated into a clear strategy for achieving it. During the 20 years of international and national advocacy for safe motherhood, an estimated 10 million women have died of maternal causes. For this to happen in a world where we state that we know what works and that nine out of ten of these deaths are preventable is obscene’.
Lindsay Wright | alfa
Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified
20.02.2017 | Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan
Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain
20.02.2017 | Universität Zürich
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences
21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News