Jan 22, 2013

Remarkable Reductions in Maternal Mortality Seen in Republic of Congo

AUTHOR:Irin NewsSOURCE:Irin News

Irin News has reported that the Republic of Congo has reduced maternal mortality from an astonishly high of 1100 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 426 deaths per 100,000 live births at the end of 2012. Working in concert with multilateral organizations, i.e. UNICEF, WHO, the World Bank and UNFPA and the Congolese government these remarkable results have been achieved. As opposed to other countries in Africa, 92% of the population live in urban areas making travel challenges and other issues not as critical in leading to maternal deaths. Almost 92% of women deliver in a health facility. The country's improvements focused on increasing the number of Caesarean sections (making them free), greater access to family planning which alone has decreased maternal mortality by 30% and establishing a national panel to address the high number of deaths. Since these deaths have mostly taken place in a health center--strengthening these centers by improving the skills of physicians, midwives and nurses as well as providing supplies and equipment can lead to even further reductions. This holistic strategy has been advocated by Life for Mothers (LfM) work in Uganda and throughout other developing countries where the population mostly live in rural areas. In additon, Congo has had high rates of neonatal (first 28 days of life) mortality which accounts for greater than 50% of all deaths of children under one year of age. Asphyxiation is a leading cause of newborn deaths and requires trained personnel and equipment to deal with this emergency. The Congo has commited to increasing their budget expenditure to 15% from 9% to strengthen health systems and reduce these deaths. To read the entire article please click: http://www.irinnews.org/printreport.aspx?reportid=97300

Did you know?

The leading causes of maternal deaths are hemorrhage, infections, unsafe abortions, high blood pressure leading to seizures, and obstructed labor.

Source:United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 2010

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