Eight Yemeni mothers die every day [Archives:2005/902/Local News]

December 12 2005

SANA'A – Dec. 11- The maternity mortality rate among Yemeni women is 366 women in every 100 thousand live births. Dr. Hamoud Hanafi, Manager of Catalyst Project during a media conference organized by the Ministry of Public Health and Population, released this information in a medical study. He added that Yemen is facing drastic health problems and serious measures are needed to overcome this matter.

The media release was in preparation for the Motherhood Conference starting today. Mothers suffer not only of delivery risks due to bad health circumstances but also from high after delivery complications. Both mothers and infants are subjected to high risk of infections, under nutrition and even death.

Dr. Arwa Alrbea, deputy health minister confirmed the need for cooperation between the different sectors to enhance health conditions in Yemen. “We need to reduce mortality rates among both mothers and newly born infants.” She said. The rate of death of newly born infants is 37.7 % of each 1000 live births. This is equal to 40 % of the breastfeeding infants.

Eighteen percent of maternity death cases take place during pregnancy, while 10 % take place during pregnancy. However, the highest rate occurs during the post delivery period reaching as high as 72 %.

The study also indicated that 30 % of miscarriages in Yemen are caused because of the aggravation of other diseases such as malaria and anemia. Mother's age also contributes to the problem, as the mortality rate of infants amounts to 35 % if their mothers are below 20 years of age. It could reach more than 40% when there is a short span between consequent pregnancies.

While this is the case in general, the maternal mortality ratio is 570 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births and infant mortality is 84 infant deaths for each 1,000 live births in rural areas.

The study mentions that the 70 % of the infant mortality could be avoided if a balance was created between the mother's and infant's health, especially through adequate family planning and reproductive health care.