SOGP signs MOU with Health RAB to compile Maternal Mortality data

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 SOGP signs MOU with Health RAB
to compile Maternal Mortality data

LAHORE: Health RAB an entity established by PharmEvo have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists of Pakistan to compile Maternal Mortality data from all over the country. This MOU was formally signed by President Prof. Farid Al Zafar on behalf of SOGP while Dr. Zaki represented Health RAB.

Maternal Mortality rate, it may be mentioned here, is considered the best indicator of a country’s development and shows how much the Government cares about the life of its people. Government of Pakistan spends less than 1 % of GDP on health which shows that health of the people is not a priority. Similarly our female literacy is one of the lowest in the world at 30% and contraceptive prevalence rate is only 35%. One woman dies every half an hour in Pakistan and our maternal mortality ratio (276 per 100,000 live births) is one of the highest in the world. A mother dying in pregnancy and childbirth is the greatest tragedy of human life since she is the central pillar of the family and when she dies, the whole family breaks down particularly the future of her remaining children is totally destroyed.


SOGP and PharmEvo have signed an MOU to compile data on maternal mortality from all over
Pakistan. Picture taken on the occasion shows President SOGP Prof. Farid Al Zafar and
Dr. Zaki representing Health
RAB along with others.

SOGP has also started an online Registry System for collection of Maternal Mortality data from all hospitals of Pakistan. This is an important intervention because unless we compile our data we cannot pinpoint the problems and hence the solutions.

Every year, Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Pakistan (SOGP) organizes a Maternal Mortality Data Sharing Event in the month of May on the occasion of Mother’ day to highlight the crucial issue of maternal mortality in Pakistan. Although medical causes of maternal mortality e.g. hemorrhage, hypertensive disorders and sepsis during pregnancy are important, majority of women die due to lack of access to timely and good quality healthcare services. Hence, it is mainly the socioeconomic factors which are responsible for maternal deaths which include poverty, illiteracy, lack of awareness about danger signs of pregnancy, lack of antenatal care, malnutrition, undernutrition, lack of family planning services, and delivery by dais or traditional untrained birth attendants. Above all the most important factor underlying the issue of maternal mortality is gender discrimination. As women have been dying in childbirth for centuries, society accepts these deaths as the natural fate of women rather than challenging them as unnatural and avoidable deaths.

After the passage of 18th amendment, health is a provincial matter so the provincial governments must take responsibility and join hands with SOGP to reduce maternal mortality. The government needs to strengthen its departments of health, family planning, education, and women development as all these play an important role in reducing maternal mortality and are all inter-linked. The government must increase the health budget, make education of girls mandatory till Intermediate, ensure availability and access to family planning supplies, improve training and salary structure for doctors and midwives, and above all promote gender equality. Women will continue to die until and unless they are respected and valued as human beings in their own right and their lives are considered worth saving.(PR)

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