Maternal healthcare still a cause for concern

Published: April 10, 2010
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ISLAMABAD: Due to lack of health facilities and illiteracy, 23,000 women lost their lives in 2009 in complications related to pregnancy issues, says Dr. Nabila Ali, Chief of Party of Pakistan Initiative for Mothers and Newborns Healthcare (PAIMAN).

Addressing the inaugural ceremony of an advanced training for journalists on mothers and healthcare of newborns, she appreciated the role of midwives and initiatives taken by the government to reduce the risks to women’s health.

“We must appreciate our government’s efforts as the midwives’ program has helped in a way to reduce deaths of women in pregnancy,” she said.

In a speech at Fatima Jinnay University Rawalpindi, Faisal Karim Kundi, deputy speaker national assembly, felt sad that despite living in 21st century, we were still mourning the deaths of mothers and children who could be saved with a little attention and some investment in their health and wellbeing.

“Complexities in addressing maternal health issues notwithstanding, I believe that we need a firm resolve and support of all stakeholders save mothers and children of our country,” he said.

Kundi said every year around 20 thousand women died due to pregnancy related cause and more than 10,000 suffered complications and disabilities. He said around 400,000 children born in Pakistan die before reaching their fifth birthday.

“These are unacceptably high numbers and call for immediate action at all levels,” he said. He said that as an elected representative, he responsible fully accountable for it. He added, “I believe that no government can singlehandedly deal with such a situation unless supported by all stakeholders including civil society organizations and the youth.”

He expressed a desire to reach every person of Pakistan with the message that “every mother counts” and every child has the right to health and wellbeing.

He felt it our duty as a nation to make it possible for every household to understand the importance of mother and child healthcare while empowering them to take right steps for ensuring that every pregnancy cycle is safe and every newborn gets the deserved attention and care. Dr. Saeeda Assadullah Khan, VC, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Dr. Naeemuddin Mian, President, White Ribbon Alliance Pakistan, Dr. Amanullah Khan, Secretary General, White Ribbon Alliance Pakistan and Dr. Nabeela Ali, Member Executive Council, White Ribbon Alliance also attended the event.

Dr. Shehnaz Shahid, a public health expert, while addressing journalists at PAIMAN’s ceremony, talked about challenges faced by reporters in the field of mother and newborn healthcare at the district level. In her presentation on Friday, she highlighted challenges faced by locals and the role of media in mass awareness.

The objective of the three-day training workshop, which was conducted in collaboration with the PAIMAN, a project of USAID, is to train selected journalists from 12 districts of the country at the advance level of reporting health issues with special reference to mothers and newborn healthcare.

Approximately 30 journalists are participating in this training from different parts of the country including Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

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