Around 3.5 million women die globally due to pregnancy-related complications: survey
Around 3.5 million women die every year across the world from preventable complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, according to Pakistan Demographic Housholed Survey (PDHS). The PDHS data further revealed that Pakistan ranks third highest in the world with estimated number of maternal deaths behind India and Nigeria.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2012
The Maternal mortality rate (MMR) mostly caused by Post-Partum hemorrhage (PPH) in Pakistan is 276 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. The Post-Partum Hemorrhage means severe bleeding after birth that takes the precious life of many women around the world.
The PDHS said that more than 380 women in Fata while 275 mothers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa settled districts have lost their lives during the year 2007- 08. The Mercy Corps an international organisation working on the project 'Saving mothers in communities' launched its campaign "Maternal and Neonatal Health Community Advocacy Dialogue Forum" in Peshawar district.
The Programme Manager for Mercy Corps Shoaib while briefing the media persons in a meeting held at a local hotel here on Friday said that every hour three women die due to maternal causes because 80 percent deliveries take place in homes in rural communities while 70 percent deliveries are conducted by unskilled birth attendants. He said that the Post-Partum period is the most vulnerable for mothers, yet neither health programmes nor mother-families have recognised this. He added that concerned community efforts are needed to overcome the problem and save mothers from quite preventable complications.
He said that most of these deaths occur among women who are outside of the skilled care at labour/delivery or in the immediate Post-Partum care maintaining that different interventions needed to reduce MMR by providing skilled birth attendants, Community Midwives (CMWs) and comprehensive family planning.
The programme manager also stressed the need for the careful use of Misoprostol a drug that has been associated with significant decrease in the rate of acute PPH in home deliveries. The World Health Organisation WHO recommends that Misoprostol can be used by trained birth attendants, the expert explained. He said that the provincial DoHs did not have a policy on the use of the Misoprostol for the prevention of PPH; also there is lack of awareness at the district and community level and the participation of poor and marginalized populations, especially women in decision making policy formulation is not being practised at the moment.
The programme manager said that Mercy Corps Pakistan and its implementing partners would work together to reduce MMR caused by PPH by addressing policies and practices in the provinces of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu and Kasmir and Fata. "The project is being implemented in the districts of Quetta, Gwadar, Kech in Balochistan, Bagh and Bhimber in AJK Lower Dir and Peshawar in KP and Khyber of Fata," he said.
Khwendo kor will be the implementing partner in Fata and KP, the purpose of the community advocacy dialogue forum (CADF) is to engage key stake holders to muster up their support for overcoming the issue.
Dr Saeed-ur-Rehman project co-ordinator expressed the hope that Khwendo kor would work together with other stakeholders to carry out the project and meet the target of reducing the number of MMR in KP and Fata to minimum by April 2013. "I hope that the project will achieve the target set by Mercy Corps of brining it down to a minimum level. Hopefully we shall have to bring it down to 120 InsahAllah within the stipulated time, he conduced.
Dr Abdur Rashid Khattak Executive District Health district Peshawar and Wilayat Shah Chief Drugs Inspector Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also attended the brief in addition to other stakeholders.