News / Africa

Saving Lives of Women and Children

Three year study provides global consensus on best ways to prevent maternal and child deaths
Three year study provides global consensus on best ways to prevent maternal and child deaths
Joe DeCapua

A new three-year study has come up with a global consensus on how to reduce the number of women who die during pregnancy and child birth. The recommendations are also expected to help lower the number of children who die before age 5. It’s estimated nearly 360,000 women die each year during pregnancy and childbirth and 7.6 million children die before age five.

The study has been released by the World Health Organization, the Aga Khan University and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

It’s different

“What is different is that we have pulled together all of the data for interventions across the continuum of care, from pre-pregnancy, through pregnancy, through childbirth, through early post-natal period for mother and for baby and for the child,” said Dr. Elizabeth Mason, director of the WHO’s department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health.

Previous studies had a much more narrow focus, concentrating on a specific period. The new study is entitled Essential Interventions, Commodities and Guidelines for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

“It all comes in one package, she said, “and it is an easy reference guide for policymakers, for organizations…health practitioners to be able to see what are the critical interventions right across the continuum of care.”

Interventions

There are 56 essential interventions for maternal and child health. For example, Mason said, “In the pre-pregnancy period, one is family planning, but a second key is folic acid, which has been demonstrated to reduce or prevent, rather, neural tube defects. That’s spinabifida and these types of defects,” she said.

Other interventions include prevention and management of post-partum hemorrhaging, prevention of mother-to-children transmission of HIV, use of anti-hypertensive drugs to reduce blood pressure, greater use of Cesarean section, immediate thermal care for newborns and treating children for pneumonia. If the recommended interventions are followed globally, Mason said she expects to see “a significant reduction in maternal mortality, reduction in stillbirths, a reduction in newborn mortality and a reduction in child mortality.”

The study states, “A child’s greatest risk of dying is during the first 28 days of life, accounting for 40 percent of all deaths among children under the age of 5” half of those deaths occur within the first 24 hours after being born.

Mason said countries already using these interventions and others have seen improvement. “The aim is that the countries that are currently not – many of the low and middle income countries – if they did this, then they would achieve the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5,” she said. Goal 4 concerns child mortality and goal 5 relates to maternal health.

You May Like

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs