Journal: Reproductive health
Current methods for estimating maternal mortality lack precision, and are not suitable for monitoring progress in the short run. In addition, national maternal mortality ratios (MMRs) alone do not provide useful information on where the greatest burden of mortality is located, who is concerned, what are the causes, and more importantly what sub-national variations occur. This paper discusses a maternal death surveillance and response (MDSR) system. MDSR systems are not yet established in most countries and have potential added value for policy making and accountability and can build on existing efforts to conduct maternal death reviews, verbal autopsies and confidential enquiries. Accountability at national and sub-national levels cannot rely on global, regional and national retrospective estimates periodically generated from academia or United Nations organizations but on routine counting, investigation, sub national data analysis, long term investments in vital registration and national health information systems. Establishing effective maternal death surveillance and response will help achieve MDG 5, improve quality of maternity care and eliminate maternal mortality (MMR <= 30 per 100,000 by 2030).
Adolescent pregnancy remains a public health concern, with diverse serious consequences, including increased health risk for mother and child, lost opportunities for personal development, social exclusion, and low socioeconomic attainments. Especially in Africa, teenage pregnancy rates are high. It is important to find out how girls without pregnancy experience differ in their contraceptive decision-making processes as compared with their previously studied peers with pregnancy experience to address the high rate of teenage pregnancies.
A prolonged and complicated second stage of labour is associated with serious perinatal complications. The Odon device is an innovation intended to perform instrumental vaginal delivery presently under development. We present an evaluation of the feasibility and safety of delivery with early prototypes of this device from an early terminated clinical study.
In March 2018, Dr. Martin C. Koch and colleagues published an analysis purporting to measure the effectiveness of the Daysy device and DaysyView app for the prevention of unintended pregnancy. Unfortunately, the analysis was flawed in multiple ways which render the estimates unreliable. Unreliable estimates of contraceptive effectiveness can endanger public health.
Recently WHO researchers described seven dimensions of mistreatment in maternity care that have adverse impacts on quality and safety. Applying the WHO framework for quality care, service users partnered with NGOs, clinicians, and researchers, to design and conduct the Giving Voice to Mothers (GVtM)-US study.
This review describes the emerging global debate on the role of human rights childbirth. It is also tailored to a UK perspective in view of the Montgomery v. Lanarkshire  legal ruling and it implications to practice. We can never underestimate the power of humane care on health. The compassion and evidence based medicine agenda in healthcare is interconnected with human rights in healthcare, feeding into the principles of decision making and patient centred care. When this has not happened and there is been healthcare conflict, the power of storytelling serves to connect disparate parties to their common humanity. Narratives are an important aspect of restorative justice processes and we suggest that this could be beneficial in the field of human rights in childbirth.
Increasingly, the health and rights of adolescents are being recognized and prioritized on the global agenda. This presents us with a “never-before” opportunity to address adolescent contraception. This is timely, as there are enormous numbers of adolescents who are currently unable to obtain and use contraceptives. From research evidence and programmatic experience, it is clear that we need to do things differently to meet their needs/fulfil their rights.
Delayed childbearing in European countries has resulted in an increase in the number of women having children later in life. Thus more women face the problem of age-related infertility and cannot achieve their desired number of children. Childbearing postponement is one of the main reasons for the increasing use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) and conversely, the latter may be one of the factors contributing to the rise in female childbearing age. The research goal of our article is to evaluate the demographic importance of ART increased use and to examine its impact on both the fertility rate and birth timing.
In 1985, WHO stated that there was no justification for caesarean section (CS) rates higher than 10-15 % at population-level. While the CS rates worldwide have continued to increase in an unprecedented manner over the subsequent three decades, concern has been raised about the validity of the 1985 landmark statement. We conducted a systematic review to identify, critically appraise and synthesize the analyses of the ecologic association between CS rates and maternal, neonatal and infant outcomes. Four electronic databases were searched for ecologic studies published between 2000 and 2014 that analysed the possible association between CS rates and maternal, neonatal or infant mortality or morbidity. Two reviewers performed study selection, data extraction and quality assessment independently. We identified 11,832 unique citations and eight studies were included in the review. Seven studies correlated CS rates with maternal mortality, five with neonatal mortality, four with infant mortality, two with LBW and one with stillbirths. Except for one, all studies were cross-sectional in design and five were global analyses of national-level CS rates versus mortality outcomes. Although the overall quality of the studies was acceptable; only two studies controlled for socio-economic factors and none controlled for clinical or demographic characteristics of the population. In unadjusted analyses, authors found a strong inverse relationship between CS rates and the mortality outcomes so that maternal, neonatal and infant mortality decrease as CS rates increase up to a certain threshold. In the eight studies included in this review, this threshold was at CS rates between 9 and 16 %. However, in the two studies that adjusted for socio-economic factors, this relationship was either weakened or disappeared after controlling for these confounders. CS rates above the threshold of 9-16 % were not associated with decreases in mortality outcomes regardless of adjustments. Our findings could be interpreted to mean that at CS rates below this threshold, socio-economic development may be driving the ecologic association between CS rates and mortality. On the other hand, at rates higher than this threshold, there is no association between CS and mortality outcomes regardless of adjustment. The ecological association between CS rates and relevant morbidity outcomes needs to be evaluated before drawing more definite conclusions at population level.