USA Ranks Worst (2015)

A recent study found that the United States ranks worst in the developed world for maternal deaths. Women in the United States are more likely to suffer from maternal death than any other country in the developed world. That is the main finding from the annual State of the World’s Mothers 2015 report by charity Save the Children. The study also found that American women are ten times as likely to die during pregnancy when compared to those in Austria, Belarus and Poland. The research acts as a global index that ranks the best and worst places to be a mother based on data indicators like political status, economy, education, well-being and maternal health. The United States was ranked 33 overall out of 179 surveyed countries, down from two places last year. It was ranked 42nd on children’s wellbeing, 61st on maternal health and 89th for political status. (13 May 2015, http://www.figo.org/news/usa-ranks-worst-developed-world-maternal-deaths-0014947) Find out how you can help combat maternal death in the United States by visiting...

World Health Organization Falsely Claims Legalizing Abortions Reduces Maternal Mortality (2015)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has just released a report concerning the global problem of maternal mortality. The document correctly notes that while maternal mortality ratios (MMRs) have declined, this issue “remains an unfinished agenda and one of the world’s most critical challenges.” Unfortunately, however, WHO states in its report that “treaty monitoring bodies have … linked elevated rates of maternal mortality to … restrictive abortion laws [and] unsafe or illegal abortion.” But WHO cites only old, and flawed, reviews. The truth is that maternal mortality depends on the quality of maternal health care, not the legal status of abortion. Some countries prohibit abortion and have very low MMRs; others permit abortion and have very high MMRs. Legalizing abortion is demonstrably unnecessary to improve maternal health and save women’s lives. WHO also asserts that maternal deaths from abortion “are likely to be under-reported or misclassified” and have recently “increased significantly in sub-Saharan Africa.” The problem, however, is that we lack accurate data about the number of women’s lives lost to abortion. As the WHO report acknowledges, “Only an estimated one third of countries have the capacity to count or register maternal deaths.” That’s why “estimation is necessary to infer MMRs in many countries where little or no data are available.” Such estimates have too often proved inflated and unreliable. No one knows exactly how many unborn children and mothers die from abortion worldwide each year. We do know that providing adequate care—before, during and after childbirth—and establishing a robust and accessible health care system can prevent maternal deaths. That’s how lives are saved. Abortion doesn’t save anyone. It poses...

The Pill Kills Again: Tragedy Strikes as 21-year-old Dies after 25 Days on The Pill (2015)

She died after 25 days on the pill. She was only 21. As in so many blood clot cases caused by birth control, she was misdiagnosed when she went to the hospital struggling to breathe and experiencing pain in her legs and ribs. She was sent home diagnosed with a bruised sternum. Four days later, she collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. On May 14, three days after arriving at the hospital, she was pronounced dead. According to an article in Cosmopolitan, tests revealed a large blood clot on her lung. Her name was Fallan Kurek, and she worked with disabled children in Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia. She had started taking the pill—a combination oral contraceptive—to regulate her menstrual cycle. Why wasn’t Fallan warned about the possibility of blood clots that accompany pill use? Why did the hospital not immediately connect her symptoms to the contraceptive she had just started taking? Fallan’s devastated mother was quoted in the Birmingham Mail, “She was only on it to regulate her periods. I couldn’t believe nobody had said the pill could do this. It should say it on the pack that they can kill and the label.” Annually, one in every 3000 women taking birth control pills will develop blood clots. It is well known all across the medical community that the pill increases the risk for deadly blood clots. And that information is indeed printed on the very lengthy packet insert, which most women never read. But it is not displayed on the packet, the label, or any other prominent place. And even knowing of the possibility of blood...

MaterCare International will Construct Maternity Hospital in Rural Isiolo Kenya (2013)

MaterCare International in partnership with … Kenya started Project Isiolo: a Comprehensive Rural Obstetrical Services and Training Program in February 2009 with a ground breaking ceremony and blessing. Kenya has one of the highest maternal mortality and morbidity rates in Africa. There are virtually no obstetricians, nurses, or midwives serving this vast central and northern region of Kenya where mortality rates are even higher. The purpose of the project is to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity. MaterCare International will construct a maternity hospital in Isiolo. [Matercare.org]   Editorial While returning from the MaterCare Maternity Clinic in remote Merti in central Kenya, we experienced first hand what mothers in the developing world suffer when the transfer of a high risk pregnancy is obstructed – fear, vulnerability, frustration, anxiety & desperation. Maternal transfer can be delayed by birth attendants failing to recognize a high risk situation, poor communication, poor transportation, poor roads, or that help is simply too far away. Our ‘obstruction’ was an impassable, muddy road which, on the same day, tragically resulted in a mother losing her baby- in the developed world this was a preventable intrapartum foetal death. It therefore may come as little surprise that the maternal mortality in the same district of Isiolo exceeds 1:20! In my home city of Adelaide, South Australia the rate is 1:14,000- an enormous disparity. It’s definitely time to do something about this- thank God for organisations like MaterCare International whose rural obstetrical model of care will have such an positive impact on motherhood in Kenya. Dr Elvis Šeman MBBS, EUCOGE, FRANZCOG, FRCOG (Original source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/10442465444/in/set-72157636873420306) [31 October 2013, http://matercare-international.blogspot.com/2013_10_01_archive.html...