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217 in maternal deaths

An average of seven women die while giving birth in Zimbabwe weekly

Thandeka Moyo, Health Reporter
ABOUT 217 women have died while giving birth countrywide since January this year amid concerns that Government needs to come up with new measures to reduce maternal mortality.

According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care weekly surveillance report three of the women died during the week ending October 10.

“A total of 217 people have died due to maternal mortality since the beginning of the year. During the week ending 10 October 2017 three maternal deaths were reported,” reads the report.

The three deaths were reported from Chitungwiza General Hospital, Nkayi district in Matabeleland North province and Mhondoro district in Mashonaland West province.

An average of seven women die while giving birth in Zimbabwe weekly.

The country’s maternal mortality rate stands at 614 deaths per every 100 000 live births and remains one of the highest in the region.

Experts say presenting late in hospital while bleeding, high blood pressure and infections are the major causes of maternal deaths in Zimbabwe.

“In March the cumulative maternal deaths stood at 58 and rose to 87 in April countrywide,” reads the same statement.

The World Health Organisation defines maternal mortality as the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes.

Zimbabwe’s maternal mortality rate stood at 960 deaths per 100 000 live births in 2010, according to the World Bank.

In The Trends in Maternal Mortality Study: 1990 to 2013 by the United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations considers a maternal mortality ratio of less than 100 as low, between 100 and 299 as moderately low, and high when it is 300 to 499. — @thamamoe

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