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Increase in Maternal Mortality in Pakistan

Maternal Mortality leads to death of women during pregnancy or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, Irrespective of the duration and site of pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes.

Causes of Maternal Mortality:

There are many causes related to maternal mortality, following are the main reasons:

1. Medical causes:

A. Obstetric causes: Hemorrhage, infections, obstructed Labor, and induced Labor.

B. Non Obstetric causes: Anemia, accidents, malignancy, hypertension, diabetes, renal problems, hepatic problems, and cardiac problems.

2. Social Factors:

A. Age of Women: The optimal childbearing years between the 20 and 30 years. The further away from this age range, the greater the risk of a women dying from pregnancy and childbirth.

B. Birth Interval: Short birth interval is associated with an increase risk of maternal mortality.

C. Parity: High parity contributes to high maternal mortality.

D. Economic circumstances

E. Cultural practices and beliefs

F. Nutritional status

G. Educational status of the mothers

H. Environmental conditions

The social factors may precede the medical causes and make pregnancy and child birth a risky venture.

Steps to reduce Maternal Mortality:

1. Dietary supplementation, including the correction of anemia during pregnancy.

2. Prevention of infection and hemorrhage during puerperium.

3. Prevention of complications e.g eclampsia etc.

4. Treatment of medical conditions e.g Hypertension, diabetes, Tuberculosis etc.

5. Promotion of family planning to control the number of children to not more than 2 and spacing of birth.

6. Anti malarial and tetanus prophylaxis.

7. In our provinces a large number of deaths can be prevention with the help of trained local dais and lady health workers.

8. Identification of every maternal death, and searching for its cause.

Equally importance is correction of social and cultural factors e.g Ignorance, Low level of female literacy, prejudice inherent in socio cultural milieu, low levels of nutrition and poor environmental sanitation.

It calls for socioeconomic development of community with active community participation.

According to the maternal health care programme, the main aim for Antenatal care is.

1. To ensure the health if expectant mother.

2. To check up for the possible complications during pregnancy and take up preventive      measures.

3. To select high risk cases for timely reference to the hospitals under the care of specialists.

4. To educate and prepare expectant mothers psychologically and other wise for motherhood.

5. To educate the couples about the family welfare programme and services.

6. Health education about nutrition, personal hygiene, child care, hazards of drugs and smoking.

Internatal care:

1. Normal conduction of delivery.

2. Endeavour to have minimum possible injury to mother and new born.

3. Immedicate care of newborn at delivery.

Postnatal care:

1. Promotion of breast feeding.

2. Protection against puerperal infections, secondary hemorrhage and possibility of thrombophlebitis.

3. Guidance about the family planning methods.

I hope that this will help you all to understand the maternal mortality, and in case of emergency, always rush towards hospital and specialists instead of wasting time at home or waiting for useless people.

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