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    070806

    The influence of maternal health on child survival.

    Tinker AG; Post MT

    [Unpublished] 1991. Presented at the 119th Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association [APHA], Atlanta, Georgia, November 11-14, 1991. 7, [2] p.

    Maternal health affects child survival in many ways. For example, and infant in Bangladesh whose mother has died during childbirth has a 95% chance of dying in the 1st year. Further children <10 years old in Bangladesh, especially girls, who have lost their mother are 4 times as likely to also die. In addition, there is a relationship between protein energy malnutrition in mothers and low prepregnancy weight and meager wait gain during pregnancy which retards fetal growth resulting in a low birth weight (LBW) infant, LBW infants die at a rate 30 times that of adequate weight infants. In fact, child survival depends on maternal health even before the mother is able to conceive. Daughter as well as mothers in developing countries often eat last and smaller amounts of food than male family members. Females who remain poorly nourished often experience obstructed labor which causes several complications for the infant such as respiratory failure. Maternal infections such as malaria and sexually transmitted diseases are also closely linked to LBW. Some can also bring about preterm birth and congenital infections. Pregnancy and labor complications are responsible for about 500,000 maternal deaths annually. Hemorrhage, sepsis, eclampsia, and obstructed labor cause most of these deaths. A woman's fertility pattern also contributes to child survival. The high risk birth categories include too young, too old, too many children, and too closely spaced. In fact, the median mortality rate for infants born <2 years after the older sibling is 71% greater than that for those born 2-3 years apart. The World Bank recommends improved community based health care, improved referral facilities, and an alarm and transport system to improve maternal health. The World Bank, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO, IPPF, and the Population Council support the Safe Motherhood Initiative which aims to reduce maternal morbidity and death by 50% by 2000.
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