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.
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.
Conclusions about women’s and girls' sexual history are made in some settings based on assumptions about the hymen, a small membranous tissue with no known biological function, which typically occupies a portion of the external vaginal opening in females. Clinicians, however, continue to refer to changes in the hymen to assess for a history of consensual or nonconsensual sexual intercourse. We reviewed published evidence to dispel commonly held myths about the hymen and its morphology, function, and use as evidence in cases of sexual violence.An examination of the hymen is not an accurate or reliable test of a previous history of sexual activity, including sexual assault. Clinicians tasked with performing forensic sexual assault examinations should avoid descriptions such as “intact hymen” or “broken hymen” in all cases, and describe specific findings using international standards and terminology of morphological features.We call on clinicians to consider the low predictive value of a hymen examination and to: 1) avoid relying solely on the status of the hymen in sexual assault examinations and reporting; 2) help raise awareness of this issue among their peers and counterparts in law enforcement and the judicial system; and 3) promote fact-based discussions about the limitations of hymenal examinations as part of clinical education for all specialties that address the sexual or reproductive health of women and girls.
Post-partum haemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal deaths in Mozambique. In 2015, the Mozambican Ministry of Health launched the National Strategy for the Prevention of Post-Partum Haemorrhage at the Community Level. The strategy included the distribution of misoprostol to women in advance at antenatal care and via Traditional Birth Attendants who directly administer the medication. The study explores the role of Traditional Birth Attendants in the misoprostol program and the views of women who used misoprostol to prevent post-partum haemorrhage.
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.
So-called virginity testing, also referred to as hymen, two-finger, or per vaginal examination, is the inspection of the female genitalia to assess if the examinee has had or has been habituated to sexual intercourse. This paper is the first systematic review of available evidence on the medical utility of virginity testing by hymen examination and its potential impacts on the examinee.
Intimate partner violence is an important public health problem that cuts across geographic and cultural barriers. Intimate partner violence refers to the range of sexually, psychologically and physically coercive acts used against women by current or former male intimate partners. The frequency and severity of violence varies greatly but the main goal is usually to control the victims through fear and intimidation. About 80% of Gambian women believe it is acceptable for a man to beat his wife thus encouraging the perpetuation of violence against women. The objective was to ascertain the burden of intimate partner violence amongst pregnant women in Gambia.
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.