KARACHI: Every year 600,000 women around the world die of minor complications in pregnancy and childbirth, said the provincial programme manager of national maternal, neonatal and child health. The programme manager, Dr Sahib Jan Badar, said that 99 per cent of the deaths caused by these complications occur in developing countries.
“The lifetime risk of maternal death is approximately 100 times higher in developing countries,” she added.
Similarly, most of the estimated seven million infant deaths each year occur in the developing world. Many of these babies die in the first month of their lives, the doctor said. When it comes to Pakistan, every year 25,000 women die due to pregnancy and birth related complications. “This means that three women die every hour,” Dr Badar said, adding that approximately 300,000 babies die before the age of one.
The government realises that it is burdened by the tragedy of preventable deaths and is committed to improving the health status, said Dr Badar. According to the Millennium Development goals for child and maternal health, Pakistan is supposed to reduce child mortality by 66 per cent from 1990 to 2015. She added that Pakistan’s target is to reduce IMR to 40 per 1,000 live births and to increase the measles immunisation rate to 90 per cent by 2015.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2010.