30,000 mothers, 200,000 babies die every year
PESHAWAR: More than 30,000 mothers and 200,000 newborn children are dying in the country annually due to lack of awareness, health facilities and political will.
Gynaecologists and paediatricians at a city hospital told this correspondent that there was an urgent need to control preventable ailments among women and newborn babies.They said that about 100 women of 10,000 died of delivery-related complications in the 2005 year and such deaths were preventable.Five gynaecology wards in the Khyber Teaching Hospital, Lady Reading Hospital and Hayatabad Medical Complex has obtained the service of about 100 doctors which is being termed adequate.“The situation concerning mother and neonatal health in rural areas is very poor. On average, a woman dies of pregnancy-related complications in the country after every 20 minutes and such deaths are avoidable,” said a gynaecologist.
He said that only 18 per cent of the deliveries were performed by trained birth attendants (TBAs) in the country and the rest of 82 per cent were carried out by traditional and unskilled Dias.“Pakistan is required to ensure that 90 per cent of the total deliveries are performed by trained birth attendants by the year 2015,” he said, citing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).Under the MDGs Pakistan is also under obligation to improve its maternal mortality rate (MMR) indicators from the current 350 to 140. “The commission for macroeconomics and health has recommended expenses of $34 per capita per year on health, which at the moment is only $6.4. Pakistan is spending only 0.6 per cent (Rs50billion) of the GDP on health, while the UN has recommended 8 per cent”, he said.He said that the NWFP needed more hospitals for children and mother care, where both mothers and neonatal could be provided specialised treatment.