Archive for January, 2010

Midwife-led Relief Team Going to Haiti

COHI Founder Sera Bonds in Sri LankaCircle of Health International works worldwide in areas of conflict and crisis to address women’s health needs, and the group announced yesterday that it is sending a team of midwives, trauma specialists, and obstetricians to Haiti. Says the group: “Women’s health needs — often a matter of life and death — do not cease to exist in crisis and post-crisis situations. In fact, the already dire condition of women’s health in these communities is often further threatened in times of emergency. Before the earthquake, Haiti suffered from the highest maternal mortality rate in the Western hemisphere, with 670 women per 100,000 dying in childbirth. Sadly, we know that during times of such tragedy and unrest, rates of sexual assault and domestic violence escalate, further endangering the lives of women in such settings. COHI pledges to do everything in its power to prevent further worsening of women’s health status and to ensure these vital needs are met.” You can donate funds, supplies, or inquire about volunteering at www.cohintl.org.

World Health Organization warns of Cesarean Epidemic

courtesy NY Daily News

In part III of its global survey on childbirth, the World Health Organization reports that C-sections have reached “epidemic proportions” worldwide. In 2005 the WHO surveyed hospitals in Latin America and found that where the cesarean rate had risen above 10-15%, women and babies suffered more complications and deaths. This latest survey, conducted in Asia, confirms the previous findings with data from 110,000 births. Women who gave birth by cesarean were more at risk for blood transfusions, hysterectomy, and death, and babies had higher rates of death and poor outcomes that led to extended hospital stays. “Together these findings provide strong multiregional support for the recommendation of avoiding unnecessary caesarean sections,” the authors write. “To improve maternal and perinatal outcomes, caesarean section should be done only when there is a medical indication.”

“The relative safety of the operation leads people to think it’s as safe as vaginal birth,” Dr. A. Metin Gulmezoglu, an author of the study, told the Associated Press. “That’s unlikely to be the case.”