Health Issues of Vulnerable Groups

Health Issues of Vulnerable Groups

There are many factors affecting the wellbeing of pregnant women, children and adolescents that can be addressed but it is important facts and figures are made available for these factors to be dealt with within the proper context. Below are some data and facts on maternal health and why women die from child birth, complications from pregnancy, women’s health and how it can be addressed

Why do women die?

  • Women die as a result of complications during and following pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Most of these complications develop during pregnancy and most are preventable or treatable.
  • Other complications may exist before pregnancy but are worsened during pregnancy, especially if not managed as part of the woman’s care.
  • The major complications that account for nearly 75% of all maternal deaths are:

a. severe bleeding (mostly bleeding after childbirth)
b. infections (usually after childbirth)
c. high blood pressure during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia)
d. complications from delivery
e. unsafe abortion.
f. The remainder are caused by or associated with infections such as malaria or related to chronic conditions like cardiac diseases or diabetes.

D. How can women’s lives be saved?

  • Most maternal deaths are preventable, as the health-care solutions to prevent or manage complications are well known.
  • All women need access to high quality care in pregnancy, and during and after childbirth.
  • Maternal health and newborn health are closely linked.
  • It is particularly important that all births are attended by skilled health professionals, as timely management and treatment can make the difference between life and death for the mother as well as for the baby.
  • Severe bleeding after birth can kill a healthy woman within hours if she is unattended. Injecting oxytocics immediately after childbirth effectively reduces the risk of bleeding.
  • Infection after childbirth can be eliminated if good hygiene is practiced and if early signs of infection are recognized and treated in a timely manner.
  • Pre-eclampsia should be detected and appropriately managed before the onset of convulsions (eclampsia) and other life-threatening complications.
  • Administering drugs such as magnesium sulfate for pre-eclampsia can lower a woman’s risk of developing eclampsia.
  • To avoid maternal deaths, it is also vital to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Credit: WHO

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