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WHO wary of maternal deaths in Kenya

07 May 2014, 12:33

Nairobi - The World Health Organization (WHO) has mentioned Kenya among the ten countries in the world that carry the most burden of maternal deaths.

The report titled, “Global Causes of Maternal Death: A WHO systematic Analysis”, categorizes Kenya together with other countries which account for 60 percent of all maternal deaths.

It states that an estimated 289 000 women died in 2013 due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth, down from 523 000 in 1990.

This however is a 45 percent reduction in maternal deaths since 1990.

Of the total deaths, Kenya recorded 6 300 maternal deaths in 2013 as compared to China’s 5 900 and Uganda’s 5 900.

Other countries that recorded the highest number of maternal deaths include India and Nigeria which recorded 50 000 and 40 00 maternal deaths respectively.

Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Pakistan are the other countries.

The report further quotes Sub-Saharan Africa as the riskiest region in the world for dying of complications in pregnancy and childbirth.

Somalia and Chad are however regarded as bearing the highest risk to maternal deaths.

“The highest lifetime risk of maternal death is in Somalia and Chad where women face a 1 in 18 and 1 in 15 lifetime risk respectively,” stated the report.

“The reports highlight the need to invest in proven solutions, such as quality care for all women during pregnancy and childbirth, and particular care for pregnant women with existing medical conditions,”  said Dr Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director-General, Family, Women’s and Children’s Health at WHO.

The report comes barely a year after the Jubilee government announced free maternal health care for all mothers in Kenya.

 – CAJ News

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