Monday, February 2, 2015
Delays at community levels contributes to maternal deaths, says a medical expert
As the government is striving to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on maternal mortality rate, a medical expert specializing on women has said that, pregnant women can develop life threatening complications which are unpredictable and in order to prevent deaths timely and appropriate treatment is urgently required. Dr. Margaret Nyambo made the clarification on Wednesday this week in Dar es Salaam that, delays on decision making by relatives on pregnant women at a community level contributes to a greater extent numerous deaths of expectant mothers when they are about to give birth. She said in an exclusive interview that, most mothers arrives at the hospitals late for delivery due to some reasons which she said if prompt actions could be taken as per the medical advices, quite a good number of them could be saved from losing their lives. Dr. Nyambo said that, most mothers do not take into considerations medical advices issued by attendants at the clinics which they attend that could enable them monitor the development of their pregnancies up to the time of their deliveries. Among the most important aspects to be cared for Dr. Nyambo insisted is when a woman starts to bleed and members of the community fails to take prompt action by rushing her to the hospital or a nearby dispensary for help. She said such delays causes other complications for expectant mothers which leads to eclampsia and hemorrhage, however, she has blamed some members of the community who associates the two situations and relate them to the beliefs of witchcraft an aspect most of them loses their lives. Another aspect she noted is due to reliable transport especially in rural areas whereby the majority of people are engulfed with economic problems resulting from financial constraints.
Other things she noted are due to illiteracy resulting in poor knowledge about health care and failure to abide by the directives issued to them. Among the most important directives is the use of iron tablets supplementation which Dr. Nyanmbo stated that most pregnant women do not want to use. According to Dr. Nyambo, the tablets help to increase Hemoglobin deficiency on pregnant women as some of them are not safer during child birth while having insufficient blood contents. “Mothers who do not follow proper diet while taking care of their pregnancies are risk to encounter with loss of essential vitamins for their body buildings, and this is another aspect that, cause maternal complications” she said. Other reasons she noted are emanating from the hospitals or dispensaries where mothers delivers their new born, saying that lack of staff and skilled personnel contributes to maternal deaths as there are some staff who are not knowledgeable. Lack of commitment, none availability of the essential drugs and supplies such as blood is not available in most hospitals or dispensaries, she said adding that, blood is a crisis issue in the country. In order to remedy the impending situation, Dr. Nyambo suggests that, the government should recruit more trained midwives as the number available in most hospitals is not enough to accommodate the number of expectant mothers who arrives for delivery. She said that, it is alarming to see that, a nurse is attending to about 20 mothers at a time instead of 5 as required according to standards. However, she denied the fact that, some nurses are so cruel to expectant mothers while in hospital and clarified the issue by saying that, mothers raises complaints but are not aware that nurses are overwhelmed by their n umbers an aspect that some stay unattended for long.