Maternal health services and pediatric health services in developing countries demand more resources

Lundborg, M.

Lakartidningen 85(42): 3488

1988


ISSN/ISBN: 0023-7205
PMID: 3199984
Document Number: 366923
This article reports on information presented at a congress of the International Association for Maternal and Neonatal Health held in Lahore, Pakistan, in November 1987. Of the estimated 500,000 maternal deaths/year, 99% occur in the Third World and 3/4 of these are in Asia. Measures suggested at the meeting for reducing this toll included reduced female fertility, access to and popular acceptance of, preventive maternal health care for all, screening and special attention to risk pregnancies, necessary resources for care, and equipment for childbirth including trained personnel, preparation for complications, and transportation to lying-in clinics. Anemia and infections are the diseases which most often affect maternal health, with undernutrition also contributing. Women in the risk zone for children with birth weight 2500 gm are often lighter than 45 kg, shorter than 145 cm and have an upper arm circumference of 20-22 cm. A report from Egypt stated that the method most used for limiting children was prolonged nursing. Normally the nursing period there extends for 18 months. Sterilization of women appeared to be an acceptable family planning method among the Asiatic delegates who participated in the debate. One session discussed the so-called "kangaroo" method of caring for premature babies in Bogota, Colombia. The babies are cared for at home by their mothers and are carried in immediate bodily contact with the mothers. The Bogota method has apparently achieved good survival rates for these children.

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