For women in particular, part of being safe during disasters — natural or otherwise — means ensuring safe birth, safety from unintended pregnancy, and safety from violence.
Using a simple traffic-light system, it can also alert healthcare workers in rural communities when a pregnant woman’s blood pressure is dangerously high – ensuring that she can be moved to hospital for life-saving care.
The goal of the HBB initiative is to have at least one person skilled in neonatal resuscitation at the birth of every child.
Speakers at a two-day seminar stressed on the role of research-based evidence to action beyond 2015 in order to build better policies and practices related to maternal and newborn health in Pakistan.
With 24 more beds, Aga Khan University Hospital’s (AKUH) expanded Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) opened its doors on Wednesday, enabling the hospital to treat a greater number of critically ill or premature newborn babies.
“I lost my three children due to lack of neonatal resources, but no one has helped me so far,” said Prem Chandar, 34, who lost his third baby due to malnutrition in the Goth Haryar village of Mithi, Tharparkar, last month.
The clerics unanimously supported the concept of birth spacing as a means to save the lives of mothers and children.
The Pakistan Medical Association says that unsafe and unhygienic practices during the childbirth and postnatal period drive Pakistan’s high maternal and newborn mortality.
The findings, published in the journal The Lancet, found nearly 1.1 million children died in 2013 as a result of being born prematurely.
“This marks a turning of the tide, a transition from infections to neonatal conditions, especially those related to premature births, and this will require entirely different medical and public health approaches.”