Senin, 19 Desember 2011


Story: Zainabu Issah

THE death of a woman or her child during childbirth is a devastating loss to the couple, the family and the society as a whole. The World Health Organisation (WHO) global maternity mortality figures show that 1000 women die from preventable causes related to childbirth every day. To put into perspective, one woman dies in childbirth every 84 seconds.

The figures for new-born children are worse. According to the WHO, over 2.6 million babies suffer still birth every year, which means that 7,200 babies die during childbirth in a day, five babies every minute, or a baby every 11 seconds. Whilst maternal mortality gets a lot of international attention, deaths of children during childbirth is not.

Additionally, 2.6 million children die during childbirth from causes that include complications during childbirth, maternal infections in pregnancy, including malaria and maternal disorders, especially hypertension and diabetes.

An Obstetrician Gynaecologist at the Resolve Medical Centre, Dr Padi Ayitey, announced this at the opening ceremony of the Gravidanza second pregnancy seminar in Accra.

The three-day exhibition and seminar brought together midwives, new parents, pregnant women and their spouses to be educated and provided with critical skills to help reduce the maternal and infant mortality rate in the country.

He added that around 1.2 million stillbirths occurred during labour and birth, and most of these babies could be saved through access to quality care at birth.

“The most effective way to reduce mortality is to strengthen the health system, starting with skilled care at birth and emergency obstetric care. Emergency care alone could save almost 700,000 babies, whilst treating for syphilis could save almost 140,000 babies,” he said.

He, however, called for more attention from health authorities and the government towards addressing the causes of stillbirth to be able to reach the MDG5 target, which relates to improving maternal health.

“Ensuring good obstetric care at birth is a top priority and gives a triple return on investment, saving pregnant women, neonates and stillbirths,” he explained.

Dr Ayitey added that one of the best ways in reducing maternal and perinatal mortality was to train medical professionals in the latest techniques that saved lives, and also educated the pregnant women and new mothers on the warning signs that could lead to complications in pregnancy.

He said this would help in treating emergency cases thoroughly as information provided would help in treatment and would also reduce the task of checking medical records of patients before treating them.

Topics discussed at the seminar included “The Impact of Obstetric Care and Neonatal Outcome” ; “Hands on Training in Neonatal Resuscitation”; “Effective Neonatal Resuscitation”; “How to Prevent the Top Two Maternal and Neonatal Killers: Haemorrhage and Eclampsia”; and “Providing Good Obstetric Care To Get Good Neonatal Outcome”.

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