Friday, 6 November 2009

Fathoming Facts and Figures

Today I went to the launch of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood in Uganda. I want to share some numbers with you, quoted to us at the meeting, that might give you an idea of the scale of the problem health care providers are facing here...

Every one minute

women become pregnant

women face unplanned or unwanted pregnancies

women experience pregnancy related complications

women have unsafe abortions

woman dies

In Uganda

is the maternal mortality ratio

is the infant mortality ratio

is the neonatal mortality ratio

of infant deaths occur within one month of life and most of these will occur within the first 24 hours

1.2 million
pregnancies occur per year

children are born per mother

is the number of children that women, on average, would prefer

of pregnancies in Uganda are in women between the ages of 15 and 19

months is the median gestational age for initial antenatal visit

is the amount per capita spent on healthcare in Uganda

is the amount per capita spent on healthcare in the UK

The leading causes of maternal mortality in Uganda are haemorrhage (26%), sepsis (22%), obstructed labour (13%) and unsafe abortion (8%). The leading causes of neonatal mortality are birth asphyxia (27%), low birth weight <1000g (25%), respiratory distress (17%) and prematurity (14%). I think that the numbers speak for themselves.

I urge you all to consider joining the White Ribbon Alliance to help lobby for change by working with grassroots people, communities and healthcare workers. You don't need to make any monetary donation. This organisation has already made a huge impact in other developing countries, and really could make a difference here in Uganda... I've put a link in the essential info section.

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