The maternal mortality ratio, which is a measure of the risk of death associated with pregnancy, has remained high over the past five years in Botswana a report by the Ministry of Health has revealed..
“This five-year maternal mortality indicates that the country has lost at least 346 women -about 70 per year, due to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. What is most alarming is that over 75 per cent of these women died from preventable causes,” it points out. “For the five year report period, the contributions of these leading causes were as follows:
haemorrhage 96 or 28 per cent, hypertensive disorders in pregnancy 60 or 17 per cent, abortion 53 or 15 per cent and HIV/AIDS related infections 60 or 17 per cent. Almost all the deaths 209 or 60 per cent due to haemorrhage, HDP and abortion were preventable and some of the contributory factors relating to HIV/AIDS deaths were modifiable”, states the report The contributory factors to almost all the maternal deaths were modifiable.
Using the four-delay model, the report has shown that most deaths -79 per cent were attributable to the forth delay in receiving good quality within health facility. These delays were mainly related to inappropriate management 178 or 41per cent; delayed intervention 104 or 24 per cent; delayed referrals 65 or 15 per cent and lack of supplies and equipments 42 or 10 per cent. Based on the report analysis; the findings reflect that significant proportion of maternal deaths are preventable and contributory factors modifiable if all the respective factors are addressed.
Based on the identified causes and contributory factors of maternal deaths, the National Maternal Mortality Audit Committee (NMMAC) has recommended key actions to be taken at all levels: national, district, facility and community. The overall objective of the recommendations is to improve the quality of care throughout the health delivery system. The NMMAC hopes that the findings of this report and the recommendations thereof; will receive the widest dissemination and remedial actions will be implemented to ensure that no woman dies while giving birth.