Apr 14, 2010

Maternal Deaths Said To Decline--New Statistical Analysis Reported in The Lancet

AUTHOR:Denise GradySOURCE:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/health/14births.html?ref=health

Denise Brady references an article that was published in the journal ‘The Lancet’ last week. After an exhaustive review, the authors ESTIMATED there were 342,900 maternal deaths worldwide in 2008, which was down from 526,200 in 1980. Now, this should certainly lead to much optimism. This research included the examination of 1042 tittles consisting of 42 studies of verbal autopsies (VAs). VAs are notorious for their unreliability. For years, the number of maternal deaths worldwide was divided into 3 regions --50% from Sub-Saharan Africa, 25% India and approximately the rest between Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. The authors state the GLOBAL fertility rate has dropped to 2.56, but in Africa it remains at 4.56 with Uganda's rate at almost 7! We need additional studies to corroborate or revise these figures to determine if indeed, health systems have strengthened, infant mortality has decreased and children are finishing primary and secondary school. Since all of these parameters are linked with maternal mortality the new data should reflect similar improved outcomes. See the original Lancet article and the editorial that follows:





Did you know?

Maternal mortality is the health indicator that shows the widest gaps between rich and poor, both between and within countries.

Source:World Health Organization, 2010

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