Maternal Mortality: Rwanda Has Reduced Rates, Health Minister Says

Maternal Mortality: Rwanda Has Reduced Rates, Health Minister Says

In Rwanda, the maternal mortality has been reduced by 30% since 2005, which puts the country ahead in the region, Richard Sezibera, the minister of health, said at the opening of a three day conference in Kigali, Rwanda, titled, “Preventing Maternal and Child Deaths: Towards the Millennium Development Goals,” the New Times/ reports. 

The government aims to further cut maternal and child deaths by 2015, Sezibera said. “Regionally we are doing much better than our neighbors in relation to attaining this goal and in sub-Saharan Africa we come second to South Africa,” he said, adding that “a lot still needs to be done” because data shows that annually 2,767 women still die during pregnancy and childbirth and 13,000 children die before they reach age one. 

He said that poverty is the main cause of these deaths and that the health ministry aims to provide health centers with equipment and training in an effort to achieve maternal and child mortality targets. Agnes Binangwaho, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, said that mortality rates will be monitored on the local level and that the community will assist in finding solutions for problems (Nambi, New Times/, 5/25).

MacArthur Foundation To Provide $11M For Maternal Mortality Research in Nigeria, India

To combat maternal mortality in Nigeria and India, the MacArthur Foundation recently announced that it will provide $11 million for research projects aimed at reducing the incidence of death among pregnant women, AfricaNews reports. The research will examine the implementation of the non-pneumatic shock garment, which can reduce the number of maternal hemorrhaging deaths during child birth. Kole Shettima, the MacArthur Foundation’s country representative, said that India and Nigeria were chosen because they have the highest maternal mortality rates. “We have supported the study for the past four years. Today, we want to find out the impact of the project,” Shettima said. The article includes additional details about the study, as well as information about efforts to reduce maternal mortality in Nigeria (Emeruwa, AfricaNews, 5/22).

New York Times Examines Maternal Mortality

The New York Times examines maternal mortality worldwide, which kills more than 536,000 women each year, according to the WHO. The article includes several examples from Tanzania, where the death rate for young children has been reduced, but the maternal mortality rate has failed to drop (Grady, New York Times, 5/24).

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