Maternal deaths on steady decline-A A +A
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
MATERNAL death rate in Davao City has been more than halved since 2008, but complications of labor and delivery remains as the top cause of maternal deaths in the city.
This was revealed in the City-wide Investment Plan for Health (CIPH) 2012-2016, which covers a comprehensive health situational analysis, gaps and deficiencies, program plan of activities, cost-effective interventions, and sustainable programs with stable technical and financial resources of the city.
Complications predominantly related to puerperium is also noted as one of the causes of maternal deaths, according to the CIPH. Puerperium is defined as the approximate six-week period lasting from childbirth to the return of normal uterine size of a mother.
The report said the number of maternal deaths decreased from 38 in 2008, to 37 deaths in 2009, 17 deaths in 2010, and further reduced to 16 each in 2011 and 2012.
The 2013 Statistical Guide on the Situation of Women and Children, prepared by the City Planning and Development Office, defines maternal death as death of women while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of duration and the site of pregnancy or its management, not from accidental or incidental causes.
“The decrease can be attributed to the efforts directed to improve the health status of pregnant women like: the organization of Women’s Health Team in 146 barangays of the city; conduct of maternal death review; program implementation review and capability building on Community Managed Maternal Newborn Care (CMMNC) among others,” the CIPH said.
However, it said despite the significant decreased in maternal deaths, “there is still a need to improve strategies to attain the millennium development goal of reducing maternal deaths to 52/100,000 live births by 2015.”
It added that “strategies such as facility-based deliveries and deliveries by skilled birth attendants” must be improved to reduce number of maternal deaths.
“Maternal Newborn Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) Plan should also be put in place, and planned interventions shall be vigorously implemented,” it added.
Coverage of Maternal Services
The report also noted that among the maternal services given at the health centers, the indicator pregnant women with four or more prenatal visits has a very low coverage.
“This would give us an idea that only a few of our pregnant women visit the health facility once in the first trimester, once in the second trimester and twice in the third trimester,” the CIPH said.
It added: “This fact emphasizes the need to improve the health seeking behavior of our pregnant women in the community through health education, promotion and advocacy including the strengthening of the Women’s Health Team.”
Iron supplementation is also a problem among the city’s pregnant women, according to the report.
“Aside from inadequate supplies, most women do not want to take iron given at the health centers because of its rust-like taste,” it said.
The CIPH reported that there were 37,357 women who got pregnant and 33,448 delivered, with 33,293 live births, in 2010.
A total of 26,611 or 79.6 percent of these women delivered in the hospitals while 19.5 percent (6,537) were delivered at home.
“Likewise, data showed an increasing trend in facility-based deliveries. From 65.8 percent in 2007 to 79.6 percent in 2010. This is higher than the national target of 70 percent. This could be attributed to the organization of the Women’s Health Team in the 80 percent of our barangays, wherein the same, came up with resolutions adopting the DOH -- CHD-Davao Region Memorandum Circular No. 2, prohibiting attendants of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) during deliveries,” the report read.
Skilled Births Attendants
As facility-based deliveries increased, the CIPH said deliveries by skilled-birth attendants also increased, which implies that interventions geared towards reducing maternal deaths has been effective and has improved.
“However, an in-depth analysis implies that not all deliveries attended by skilled birth attendants were delivered in the health facilities. This is suggestive of the need to intensify IEC among our pregnant women on the risk of both the mother and the newborn, if deliveries are not done in the health facilities,” the CIPH read.
“In terms of attendance to deliveries, most were attended to by midwives (14,500) followed by doctors (12,482). Likewise, there were 5,788 deliveries that were attended to by TBAs,” it added. (Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 08, 2013.