Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Maternal mortality

A recent join United Nations report indicated that the new maternal mortality is declining. Obviously, global data suggests that progress has been made to reduce the number of pregnant women who die while giving birth around the world; however, in sub-Saharan Africa, the hardest hit region in the world, maternity deaths remain a huge concern. As a matter of fact, people in sub-Saharan countries of Africa have witnessed more than 280,000 of those deaths in 2010 only. According to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), that number represents 57 percent of the world maternal deaths. These high figures suggest that 17 percent of all women in Africa are at risk of dying from complication of pregnancy and childbirth. 

Cameroon, Chad, and Congo are among several sub-Saharan countries in which maternal and infant mortality rate is still lamentably high. For instance, Yearly mothers’ deaths in Cameroon rose from 7500 in 2004 to 9000 in 2010, according to figures released by the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS).

The situation seems to be worse than the UN data shows as persistent under-reporting and misclassification have made it impossible to know the true extent of such deaths, especially in remotest and poorest areas. African Aid Organization, Inc. (AFAID) is deeply troubled by the senseless deaths of mothers in Africa because most of these deaths could have been prevented. Indeed, the high number of maternal deaths in Africa is the direct result of insufficient care during pregnancy and delivery, the lack of money to pay the fees being asked for by medical personnel, and incapacity to reach health facilities because of geographical, financial or cultural barriers. Most importantly, HIV infections claim 10 percent of those lives. Evidences show that of the 91% of world maternal deaths due to HIV/AIDS occur in sub-Saharan Africa because, among other causes, women lack information on sexual and reproductive health and rights. 

An urgent action is needed as more than 1 million children in Africa alone are orphaned because the mother dies trying to procreate.  Please get involved, click here to donate.

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