Mortality and Morbidity

Mortality and Morbidity

 

 
Uterine Prolapse


is a debilitating condition in which the supporting pelvic structure of muscles and tissues gives way, and the uterus drops into or even out of the vagina. The condition is often accompanied by severe chronic back pains and urinary incontinence. Many women who suffer from it are abandoned by their husbands and end up as social outcasts in their own communities.
 
The WHO has asserted that the most common causes of maternal mortality are puerperal sepsis (infections), haemorrhage (severe bleeding), complications caused by unsafe abortions, eclampsia and obstructed labour[1]. Despite the already high number of maternal mortality, for every maternal death 30 other women are expected to develop complications during gestation, birth or puerperium1 above, so called maternal morbidity. The most often reoccurring and devastating complications of childbearing are obstetric fistula, uterine prolapse, a damaged pelvic structure and anaemia[2]. Besides the physical pain and suffering these problems also lead to socials problems like household dissolution, social isolation and even suicide. Hence, the loss of productivity may drive women and their families into poverty. Most often easily inserted medical interventions like, in the case of a uterine prolapse, the insertion of a rubber ring or pessary can re-stabilize the womb and end suffering. Despite the low level procedures required in many morbidity cases, absence of basic health care facilities challenges care provided to women in labour.
 
Female genital mutilation and maternal problems


Approximately 130 million women’s genitals have been mutilated worldwide. 
Female genital mutilation, all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the female external genitalia and/or injury to the female genital organs for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons, is a widespread ritual performed in most countries of the African continent. Although the highest prevalence of female genital mutilation is reported within Africa it is also known to happen in Asia and some countries in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region. Its practices are motivated by traditions and power inequalities. Women who have undergone genital mutilation, especially the more severe forms, need medical assistance during pregnancy and delivery. Scar tissue surrounding the vaginal opening as result of the mutilation is likely to delay the delivery which severely threatens the health of mother and child.
 

[1] UNFPA. (2013). Safe Motherhood.. Retrieved on July 28, 2013 from: http://www.unfpa.org/emergencies/manual/3.html


[2] UNFPA. (2013). Surviving Childbirth, But Enduring Chronic Ill-Health. Retrieved on July 18, 2013 from: http://www.unfpa.org/public/mothers/pid/4388  

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