Tuesday November 12, 2019

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

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)

Next Story

Impaired Liver Function During Pregnancy Leads To Obese Kids

Impaired liver function during pregnancy increases the risks of obesity in kids

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Impaired liver function during pregnancy may increase the risk of obesity in children. PIxabay

Impaired liver function during pregnancy may alter gut bacteria composition and increase the risk of obesity in children, according to a new study.

In a rodent of model of the most common liver disease in pregnancy, the composition of gut bacteria in offspring was altered and liver function impaired, particularly when they were fed a Western-style, high-fat diet.

“These findings further suggest that health during pregnancy can have long-term effects on children. In this case they suggest that gut microbiome alterations, may increase the risk of obesity in children, when fed a western style, high-fat diet, ” said study researcher Caroline Ovadia from King’s College London.

The most common liver disease in pregnancy, intrahepatic cholestasis (ICP), reduces the release of digestive fluid bile from the liver causing bile acids to build up in the blood, impairing liver function. This causes severe itching in the mother and increases risks of stillbirth and preterm birth for the baby.

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In a rodent of model of the most common liver disease in pregnancy, the composition of gut bacteria in offspring was altered and liver function impaired. Pixabay

Previous studies suggest that children of women with ICP are more likely to develop childhood obesity.

For the findings, the research team investigated how gut microbiota are affected in the offspring of a mouse model of ICP.

The results reported that the offspring had a different gut microbiome composition and liver function, particularly when fed a high-fat diet, which could contribute to impaired metabolism and increase risk of obesity.

The results suggest that mice born to mothers with ICP, or other liver diseases, may benefit from maintaining a healthy diet and should avoid fatty foods.

These findings also suggest that targeting microbiome composition with treatment strategies in pregnant women, such as using pre-biotics or pro-biotics, could help prevent the risk of child obesity.

Also Read- Parents With Only Child More Likely To Tackle Obese Kids

“Understanding changes in composition of the gut microbiome and their effects may provide new ways of diagnosing patients at particular risk of obesity before it occurs. We could then develop personalised medicine and target appropriate treatments to alter gut bacteria accordingly,” Ovadia added.

The study was presented at The Society for Endocrinology Annual Conference in the UK. (IANS)