5 February 2009

Uganda: Child Birth Worst Killer of Women - Unicef

Kampala — DELIVERING a child remains one of the biggest health risks for women worldwide, the UN has said.

A total of 1,500 women die every day while giving birth, the UN agency for children, Unicef, said in a report. It said women in developing countries are 300 times more likely to die during birth than those in the developed nations.

In Uganda, 6,000 women die annually as a result of problems related to pregnancy and child birth. This is 15 deaths daily.

Globally, a total of 164,250 women suffer from disability due to child birth.

Research shows that the children of deceased mothers are likely to die from preventable diseases before their fifth birthday.

The leading causes of maternal mortality, the report shows, are bleeding, followed by delay to access a health centre and ill-equipped health facilities.

"Addressing that gap is a multidisciplinary challenge, requiring emphasis on education, community involvement and social equality," the reports says.

It recommends that women must be guaranteed antenatal care, skilled birth attendants, emergency obstetrics and postpartum care. Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, in the forward, calls on renewed efforts to prevent "a needless human tragedy."

Uganda is ranked number 21 in the world as a country where children never celebrate their fifth birthday.

The report shows that Uganda's antenatal care coverage is 39% and availability of skilled attendants at birth is 42%.

It says a child born in a developing country is almost 14 times more likely to die during the first month of life than a child born in a developed one.

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