World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Women should not die giving life

Women should not die giving life

UNFPA Pacific, May 11, 2014 - Whatever you've decided will fill your current 24 hours, 800 women will die within that same hour from pregnancy or childbirth complications; that’s 33 women dying every hour from conditions that could be prevented.

The absence of a global outcry at this aspect of maternal health or reproductive health is deafening – perhaps it is indeed one of the hazards of pregnancy but what should irk you as a fellow human being is the fact that 289,000 maternal deaths occurred in 2013, in this age of advanced technology, when it is almost the norm to conduct surgeries via the internet.

The status of maternal mortality in the 15 Pacific island countries including Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a mixed bag – most Polynesian countries will achieve MDG5a (eliminate maternal mortality) while most Melanesian countries won’t, though compared to 1990, reported skilled birth attendant rates have increased in all countries except Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), PNG and Vanuatu.

The Pacific regional review in 2013 of how countries had performed in the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development’s (ICPD) Programme of Action (PoA) reports that while countries have contributed in various ways towards the improved delivery of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, no Pacific country had specifically allocated SRH in their annual national budgets and very few had opted out of donor partner support for the purchase of their contraceptives.

Contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) remained below 50 per cent, the review found and while most remained static, only the Cook Islands, FSM, Fiji and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) would occasionally record a high of 40 per cent.

If countries were to meet unmet needs (women who desire to delay or stop childbearing but cannot access contraceptives for various reasons), this could reduce the maternal mortality ratio between 25 to 40 per cent. In the Pacific, unmet need vary from 1 per cent to 40 per cent and in most countries, unmet need rates are similar in both rural and urban areas.

“Some Pacific island nations do not record maternal mortality anymore while some are continuing to work towards its elimination, but we should join our efforts to ensure that no woman dies at the moment of delivery in the Pacific,” Dr Laurent Zessler, UNFPA Pacific Director and Representative said.

During the recent United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Pacific Sub-Regional Office-organised regional meeting of permanent secretaries of health, the need for countries to treat reproductive health issues as development issues was reiterated. This would inevitably require introspective of (our) governance philosophies.

Maternal mortality is a personal issue as it is reflective of both our attitudes as individuals and collectively as societies towards girls and women, who aren't usually accepted as individuals first and foremost, with inalienable human rights, before gender or any other cultural or faith-based considerations.

Maternal mortality is a development issue because it is reflective of how much the duty-bearers, our governments, are meeting their obligation in terms of health services for right-holders, we the citizens.

It is a development issue because realities that continue to neglect the good health and/or environment that does not enable girls and women to have autonomy over their own bodies eventually manifests in a country’s general progress - neglect the good reproductive health of half the populace and the country deprives itself of much-needed human resources and half its productivity potential.

Maternal mortality is a development issue because United Nations (UN) member states are signatories to the 56th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in 2012 which adopted a resolution on “eliminating maternal mortality and morbidity through the empowerment of women…” and because it is one of the main indicators of the Millennium Development Goal 5, monitored by the UN and reported on regularly.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Ban Condemns Killing Of Former Lesotho Military Commander

United Nations Secretary-General today condemned the killing of Lt. Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao, former Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, on 25 June, near Maseru. More>>

Ban Welcomes US Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage

Ban welcomes US Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing right to same-sex marriage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) pride march. Photo: OHCHR/Joseph Smida More>>

UN Agency Welcomes EU Measures On Refugee Arrivals

Afghan refugees in front of the abandoned hotel Captain Elias on Kos Island, Greece, where hundreds of refugees and migrants are waiting for their registration. Photo: UNHCR/J. Akkash More>>

Increase In Voluntary Blood Donors Can Save Millions Of Lives

Increase in voluntary blood donors can save millions of lives, UN health agency says on World Day More>>

Kenya: Funding Shortage Means Food Cut To 500,000 Refugees

Funding shortage forces UN agency to temporarily cut food aid to 500,000 refugees in Kenya More>>

UN Launches Education Appeal In Fight Against Child Labour

12 June 2015 – The United Nations has announced it is marking the 2015 edition of the World Day Against Child Labour with a call for the international community to invest in quality education as a key step in the fight against child employment ... More>>

Pope Francis & UN Agency On Sustainability Of Agriculture

Pope Francis (centre) with delegates to the 39th FAO Conference during a special audience at the Vatican. Photo: FAO More>>

South Sudan: Call For De-Escalation Of In-Country Conflict

Women and children have suffered devastating attacks in South Sudan’s Unity State. Photo: UNICEF/South Sudan/Sebastian Rich More>>

Burundi: Emergency Support To Refugees Fleeing Burundi Crisis

Burundians fleeing pre-election violence rest on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a gruelling 22-hour boat journey. More than 100,000 Burundians have fled over the past month, arriving in Tanzania, Rwanda and ... More>>

Afghanistan: Commitment To Advancing Women's Rights

While the outgoing senior United Nations rights official in Afghanistan said she expected the human rights advances made “will be sustained, will not be rolled back, and will not be sacrificed,” she lamented the high level of violence against ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news