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Opinion / Women's Corner

Sunday Women Matters with Blondie - Maternal Deaths

by Lorraine Blondie Sibanda
25 May 2014 at 17:00hrs | Views


A Nation's agony The SADC Gender Protocol calls on Member States to reduce the maternal mortality rate by 75% by year 2015, in line with Millenium Development Goal (MDG) number 5.

 According to the Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey, there are about 10 maternal deaths for every 1 000 births in Zimbabwe. Maternal deaths represented 12% of all deaths among women between the ages of 15 and 49 during the seven-year period preceding the 2010-2011 survey, whereas maternal deaths were only 7% of all deaths among women in the 2005- 2006 survey.

The leading causes of maternal deaths in Zimbabwe have been identified as AIDS- related illnesses, post-partum haemorrhaging(heavy bleeding), hypertension, infections, complications from abortion and malaria. Although gender-based violence does not feature as a cause of maternal mortality, 16% of women in the recent VAW(Violence Against Women) Baseline Research reported that they experienced violence during one or more of their pregnancies.

A large proportion of maternal deaths occur within 48hours after delivery, emphasising the importance of post-natal care.

As Zimbabwe celebrates Africa Day with the rest of the continent, it is worrying that, according to the 2013 SADC Gender Protocol Barometer, she ranks highest in Southern Africa at 960 maternal deaths per 100 000 births.

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Source - Lorraine Blondie Sibanda
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