By Sabrina R. Espinoza
Every day, about 800 maternal deaths happen. A maternal death is a woman who dies while pregnant or within 42 days of a termination of their pregnancy. Causes of maternal deaths are usually preventable. Some causes include conditions related to severe bleeding, infection, high blood pressure, and complications during the delivery of the baby.
Since maternal health is closely linked to newborn survival, an unhealthy mother’s newborn isn’t expected to go without complications. Even though great efforts have been made to reduce the mortality rate, newborns still account for forty-four (44%) of all childhood deaths. Approximately 2.9 million newborns die within their first month every year. An additional 2.6 million also happens to be stillborn. The main causes include complications related to infection, intrapartum-related complications, birth defects, lack of quality care, malnutrition, and prematurity.
Most of the maternal and newborn deaths happen in low-income settings. Because of this, cost-effective interventions are being made. These include antibiotics, cord care, drugs that prevent and treat postpartum hemorrhage, resuscitation, immediate and exclusive breastfeeding, and kangaroo mother care that keeps the newborn warm with skin-to-skin contact. These cost-effective interventions have the ability to significantly reduce maternal and newborn deaths.