Tuesday October 23, 2018

Why too many women die in childbirth in Developing Countries? How can we tackle Infant Mortality?

World Health Organization (WHO) says it's hard to believe that in 2015, almost 6 million children under age 5 and more than 300,000 mothers died from complications of childbirth.

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Monowara holds her 22-day-old grandson Arafat, as she walks through a mustard field on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Jan. 22, 2014. VOA
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Too many women die in childbirth, and too many babies die during delivery.

Dr. Flavia Bustreo at the World Health Organization (WHO) says it’s hard to believe that in 2015, almost 6 million children under age 5 and more than 300,000 mothers died from complications of childbirth.

Bustreo heads a new program to reduce these deaths by half within the next five years, and to end preventable infant and maternal deaths by 2030 in nine high-risk countries — Bangladesh, India, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. This will be done through a new “Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.” It will have support from UNICEF and WHO, where Bustreo is the assistant director-general for family, women’s and children’s health.

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“The dynamics we are trying to create is to have the partners and players within each country to create their targets, so that they own those targets, and they are also responsible and accountable to their own population for delivery,” Bustreo told VOA in a Skype interview from Geneva.

World Health Organization’s Flavia Bustreo gestures during an interview in Geneva, Feb. 15, 2016. VOA

Countries are committed

The countries will provide training to health professionals so they can intervene in an emergency, whether it’s suctioning out amniotic fluid from a newborn’s airway so the baby can breathe, or stopping a women who has just given birth from hemorrhaging. Bustreo said a third of maternal deaths are linked to post-partum hemorrhaging, and most of the babies die on the day of their birth.

The countries in the network have high maternal and infant mortality rates, but Bustreo said they are fully committed to achieving these goals.

They need to build or modernize health care facilities so there’s a consistent supply of running water and electricity. A number of facilities lack these necessities. These vital resources mean babies can be incubated and kept warm and mothers who need cesarean sections can have this surgery.

A woman sleeps next to her newborn baby in a nursery in the Juba Teaching Hospital, April 3, 2013. Very few births in South Sudan are assisted by trained midwives.

A woman sleeps next to her newborn baby in a nursery in the Juba Teaching Hospital, April 3, 2013. Very few births in South Sudan are assisted by trained midwives.

Well-trained staff a priority

Health care facilities have to be upgraded or built with their own sources of electricity, and the people who staff these facilities need training so they can perform lifesaving procedures expertly. “If you have a woman who delivers in a health care facility, but that facility does not provide well-trained health care workers or does not provide good quality care, you don’t see mortality reduction,” Bustreo explained.

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In some regions, women traditionally give birth at home. The challenge is to get these women to give birth in clean, well-equipped health facilities. Bustreo said some of these women are afraid they will get infections or contract diseases.

The goal is ultimately to end preventable deaths of mothers and babies. But first, these countries are focusing on reducing maternal and infant death by half within the next five years.(VOA)

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Here’s How Support From School May Help ADHD Children

While research shows that medication is effective, it does not work for all children, and is not acceptable to some families

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How school support may help ADHD children. Pixabay

One-to-one support and a focus on self-regulation may improve academic outcomes of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a new study suggests.

ADHD refers to a chronic condition including attention difficulty, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.

“Children with ADHD are of course all unique. It’s a complex issue and there is no one-size-fits-all approach,” said Tamsin Ford, Professor from the the University of Exeter in the UK.

“However, our research gives the strongest evidence to date that non-drug interventions in schools can support children to meet their potential in terms of academic and other outcomes,” said Ford.

For the study, published in the journal Review of Education, the team found 28 randomised control trials on non-drug measures to support children with ADHD in schools.

child, ADHD
The results indicate that children with ADHD who received canine assisted intervention (CAI) experienced a reduction in inattention and an improvement in social skills. Pixabay

They found that important aspects of successful interventions for improving the academic outcomes of children are when they focus on self-regulation and are delivered in one-to-one sessions.

According to the study, self-regulation is hard for children who are very impulsive and struggle to focus attention.

In addition, the children were set daily targets which were reviewed via a card that the child carried between home and school and between lessons in school and rewards were given for meeting targets.

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While research shows that medication is effective, it does not work for all children, and is not acceptable to some families.

“More and better quality research is needed but in the mean-time, schools should try daily report cards and to increase children’s ability to regulate their emotions. These approaches may work best for children with ADHD by one-to-one delivery,” Ford noted. (IANS)