Rise in chronic diseases among pregnant women, leading to increase in maternal deaths

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, has noted a rise in chronic diseases among pregnant women in recent years, leading to an increase in high risk pregnancies and maternal deaths.

The CMO made the observation while speaking at a Ministry of Health and Wellness press conference today.

She was responding to reports of an increase in maternal mortality rates.

Dr. Bisasor-McKenzie noted that approximately 30,000 women give birth yearly. The goal is to maintain less than 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births per year.

In 2019 the rate was 163.5 per 100,000.  In 2021, this went up to 211 per 100,000 partly due to COVID.

 In 2023, this fell to 130 per 100,000.

The CMO noted that the major causes of maternal death are hypertensive disorders and postpartum hemorrhage. 

Dr. Bisasor-McKenzie noted that women will have to focus on their physical and mental wellness to ensure that they are healthy enough to have children.

The CMO said unhealthy diets are also leading to issues in pregnant women.

Dr. Bisasor-Mckenzie added that there are also issues with mothers not seeking timely care and delays in interventions once mothers are in care.

She said the ministry is launching an antenatal care campaign to address the issues.


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