By: Miracle Nwankwo
The increased report of maternal mortality in many parts of the world especially in developing countries in recent times calls for the attention to more solutions to the problem.
Maternal mortality has become unbearably high as everyday women and infants die of Pregnancy or childbirth-related complications. In as much as countries have directed their agendas to key developmental areas, it is also important to put into consideration the critical role of Women, Children and Adolescents’ Health to the global Sustainable Development Goals.
From 1990 to 2015, the global maternal mortality ratio declined by 44 percent – from 385 deaths to 216 deaths per 100,000 live births, according to UN inter-agency estimates.
But the current maternal mortality ratio reports a high record of the problem since 2016 which is a defect to achieving the sustainable development goal for maternal mortality which states that “By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100 000 live births”.
According to W.H.O “about 830 women die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related complications around the world every day. It was estimated that in 2015, roughly 303 000 women died during and following pregnancy and childbirth. Almost all of these deaths occurred in low-resource settings, and most could have been prevented.”
“In sub-Saharan Africa, a number of countries halved their levels of maternal mortality since 1990. In other regions, including Asia and North Africa, even greater headway was made. Between 1990 and 2015, the global maternal mortality ratio (the number of maternal deaths per 100 000 live births) declined by only 2.3% per year between 1990 and 2015. However, increased rates of accelerated decline in maternal mortality were observed from 2000 onwards. In some countries, annual declines in maternal mortality between 2000–2010 were above 5.5%.”
A large number of the causes of maternal mortality are preventable but quick measures are not applied to avert the problem. Research has shown that about three-quarters of all maternal deaths are caused by postpartum haemorrhage, hypertensive disorders such as pre-eclampsia/eclampsia, infections, unsafe abortion and other delivery-related complications which can be treated with effective and timely clinical interventions.
What this suggests is that adequate preventions are required, apart from conversant techniques like family planning and skilled childbearing attendance, the world needs to think of best solutions to tackle this problem.
All countries must, therefore, work to create better care for women from conception to post-delivery period until the child passes the early stages of development and both mother and child have been confirmed by the medical practitioners to be in good health.
This is important because based on research, many causes of maternal death begin long before delivery and as a result of some “important” needs. These needs can be social factors such as place of residence, socioeconomic status, and race/ethnicity.
Other factors which I consider more important are national resource allocation, health system infrastructure, and political accountability.
If the institutional factors are highly reliable, these social determinants wouldn’t have an aggravating effect on the situation.
What this means is that maternal health is yet to become a global priority until authorities begin to perceive it as a concept of priority, perfect solutions may not be found.
Adequate essential maternal care is needed to prevent the cases of maternal deaths, therefore, the government must consider these:
- Women are important to economic growth
- The death of women/girls and children are a danger to Millennium Development Goals.
- Tackling maternal mortality equals promoting economic development
- Solving maternal mortality issues is a way of solving gender equality
Improving maternal health care is very important to and should be taken as a priority in most developing countries.
Governments of the world should, therefore, strive to:
- Improve maternal health care
- Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio according to the millennium development goals.
- Provide more skilled health personnel or birth attendant.
- Developed and standardized Antenatal care coverage
- Create awareness and empower the people for the need of family planning
- Leveraging changes in public policy to build healthier societies.
- Meet social-economic needs