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T&T moves to reduce maternal deaths
Despite progress made over the past 20 years in reducing maternal mortality in the Americas, the figures remain high in many countries, and access to reproductive health is still limited and full of obstacles. Last year, the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) estimated that 9,200 women in the region die in pregnancy and childbirth, for a maternal mortality ratio of 88.9 per 100,000 live births. This situation disproportionately affects poor, indigenous, and illiterate women living in rural areas or marginal conditions.
To improve maternal, newborn and infant health in Trinidad and Tobago, there is little doubt that priority should be given to care during labour and delivery, supported by antenatal and postnatal care. Most maternal and newborn deaths happen at birth or within 24 hours of birth, so access and providing of emergency obstetrics and newborn care are crucial. In some instances, maternal deaths are associated with sub-standard care or factors that could have been avoided, but it is noted that a number of healthcare workers were unable to recognise and manage medical conditions or potential emergencies that were not part of their relevant medical expertise.
In light of the above facts, reality and the PAHO/WHO regional initiative contest on best practices to promote safe motherhood, ASPIRE, UNFPA and PAHO/WHO will be hosting a maternal health medical symposium on October 23 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, under the Theme: “Safe Motherhood: Best Practices for Reducing Maternal Mortality.” The objectives of symposium are:
• to enhance the knowledge and understanding of health care providers working in emergency obstetric care (EmOC) settings to improve quality of services; and
• to sensitise healthcare providers and other stakeholder on medical negligence and malpractice as it relates to obstetric care.
More than 120 healthcare providers from across the country are expected to attend this symposium.
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