World Hypertension Day Maternal Death

Two Dominant Causes Of Maternal Deaths In Africa, Expert Warns

World Hypertension Day Maternal Death

Hypertension and Haemorrhage Are Two Dominant Causes Of Maternal Deaths In Africa, Expert Warns.

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A health expert has warned that hypertension and haemorrhage are two dominant causes of maternal deaths in Africa.

The experts who are members of the World Health Organisation disclosed this.

According to the WHO, complications of haemorrhage and hypertension have killed several pregnant women in the African Region.

The UN Health agency said these two factors account for 50 per cent of maternal mortality in Africa.

The experts advised member states to provide quality and timely access to women and girls. They said the female should access healthcare especially during pregnancy, childbirth and after delivery.

This was published on the WHO Regional Office for Africa’s website. 

WHO Representative in South Africa, Dr Owen Kalyn was among the members who made this statement published on the website. He emphasized that the skills of health workers in the region must be considered in addressing health problems.

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He revealed that the WHO/AFRO was developing the Regional Accelerated Plan of Action to end all preventable maternal mortality due to postpartum haemorrhage and pre-eclampsia/eclampsia.

His words:

“Most maternal deaths in the region are attributable to five main causes: haemorrhage, pregnancy-related hypertensive disorders, unsafe abortion, infection, and obstructed labour. Of these, complications of haemorrhage and hypertension account for almost 50 per cent of deaths.

“Furthermore, unsafe abortion is responsible for 16 per cent of all maternal deaths, with variations across countries depending on the level of restrictions to abortion.”

He said that Africa recorded 66 per cent of the 303,000 maternal deaths recorded globally in 2017.

Dr Kaluwa noted that the main WHO/AFRO was to; 

  • Produce.
  • Disseminate. 
  • Monitor the implementation of global guidelines and standards that are adapted to the regional context.

In addressing these problems, the WHO noted that:

“One thing we need to look at is the skills of our health workers. People need to know how to repair a simple episiotomy wound and many other lacerations. We need to ensure that we have skilled and conscious clinicians.

“I think the structural barriers are contributing to a lot of issues that we are seeing. And, the disparities and equities issues need to be addressed. As we talk about leaving no one behind, we need to have a general whole so that our universal coverage and pushing up our accelerated implementation plans can then make a reality and hopefully we can catch up to win the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Experts say ending maternal mortality is important to Sustainable Development Goal 3.1. This requires regular epidemiological analysis of trends and patterns of the causes of maternal deaths.

In a recent study published in the Journal of Global Health, focused on maternal deaths in Africa, the following were listed as the causes:

  •  Obstetric haemorrhage. 
  • Hypertensive disorders in pregnancy. •
  • Non-obstetric complications. 
  • Pregnancy-related infections.

The Journal of Global Health is a medical journal centred on issues important to global health.

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The researchers concluded:

“Postpartum haemorrhage is the leading cause of death in the obstetric haemorrhage group. Pre-eclampsia/eclampsia is the leading cause of hypertensive disorders in the pregnancy group, and puerperal sepsis is the leading cause in the pregnancy-related infections group.

“Challenges exist in reporting deaths due to abortion-related complications, non-obstetric complications and incidental causes. Sub Saharan Africa must invest in building health information systems that collect and avail comprehensive and quality data on all causes of maternal deaths.”
Source: Punch HealthWise

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