Apr 11, 2012

Tetanus Remains a Leading Cause of Maternal Deaths in Papua New Guinea

AUTHOR:Irin NewsSOURCE:Irin News

Sadly, tetanus remains a leading cause of maternal/neonatal deaths worldwide. Over 100,000 mothers and newborns die each year from tetanus. Papua New Guinea (PNG) has one of highest rates of maternal mortality on the world estimated to be over 250 deaths per 100,000 live births. PNG is now understaking its first campaign to vaccinate almost 2 million women of reproductive age (15-45). Because 90% of the population live in rural areas this will be a protracted and difficult goal to achieve. Life for Mothers (LfM) believes that a holistic strategy is necessary to reduce maternal/neonatal mortality and strengthen health systems. To improve access to health services for women and their households community health workers (CHWs) must be recruited and trained to reach out to these marginalized people. Using mobile health technology CHWs will be able to register women into an electronic heralth data base and track the rates of vaccination, not only for tetanus but for measles and other diseases as well. In additon, ensuring that women receive a minumum of 4 antenatal visits and deliver at a health facility in the presence of a skilled birth attendant are top priorties of LfM's strategy. Lastly, transportation bottlenecks for these women and male partner involvment must be addresed for these deaths to be reduced. To read the article please click here: http://www.irinnews.org/Report/95213/PAPUA-NEW-GUINEA-Tetanus-vaccination-campaign-underway

Did you know?

In Africa and South Asia, complications during pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for women of childbearing age.

Source:United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 2010

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