Maternal mortality rate decreases in Azerbaijan

By: Amina Nazarli

For the last 25 years, the maternal mortality rate has decreased by roughly 60 percent in Azerbaijan, according to new report based on estimates by the WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank Group, and the United Nations (UN) Population Division.

Consequent efforts to increase awareness and to upgrade health services were the key factors that helped to reduce the maternal mortality rate in the country, according to Nabil Seyidov, an expert from the Center for Public Health and Reforms.

“Over the past 10 years, significant efforts have been taken in this direction,” he stressed

The maternal mortality rate fell by almost half in the country as compared to 50 maternal deaths recorded in 2000. “Now, this figure is 26 per 100,000 deliveries, which is quite a stable figure. This figure has remained constant for the past five years,” he noted.

Last year, the government had adopted a state program for the 2014-2020 period to protect maternal and child health.

“Impressive work has been done under the program, although it has only been implemented for eighteen months,” Seyidov pointed out.

For instance, as part of the program, the Center for Public Health and Reforms and the Scientific Research Centre of Obstetrics and Gynecology are organizing training courses for obstetricians and gynecologists to provide emergency care, including surgical assistance.

This course is based on the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The Health Ministry reported that the birth rate in Azerbaijan was 18.3 per thousand, and the mortality rate was 5.8 per thousand.

Having a baby is perhaps the most significant and memorable event in a woman’s life. Pregnancy is a time for preparation and care for welcoming a new family member. Children’s clothing, bath products, and even a baby room are some of the essentials that parents need to plan in advance.

However, one should also not overlook the importance of undergoing regular checkups during pregnancy, which can assist in identifying and reducing risks to either mother or the baby.

Earlier, Leyla Mammadova, an employee of the ministerial commission on assistance in childbirth, named preeclampsia as one of the main causes of maternal mortality in the country, and is a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, often the kidneys.

She believes that the timely detection of preeclampsia and the provision of medical care in appropriate health facilities can reduce the mortality rate among mothers.

“Unfortunately, sometimes, women go to the doctor only when they have some problems. Now, we are making every effort to ensure that the future mothers get registered on time. We also inform them about the importance of the prenatal period,” Mammadova emphasized.

Azerbaijan has recorded the highest birth rate among European countries. Statistics reveal that the country’s population increased 0.8 percent from the beginning of the year, reaching 9,666,000 people as of September 1.

The infant mortality rate in 2009 was recorded at 11.3 per thousand, while this figure fell to 10.2 per thousand in 2014.

Overall, the maternal mortality rate in the world fell by 44 percent between 1990 and 2015, according to statistics. However, about 800 women worldwide still die daily due to pregnancy- and childbirth-related complications.

Almost 99 percent of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries, according to a UN report.


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