Myanmar mothers have poor access to healthcare

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Access to maternal healthcare in eastern Myanmar is inadequate and most expectant mothers suffer from poor nutrition, anemia and malaria, raising the risk of pregnancy complications, researchers said.

In an article in the medical journal PLoS Medicine, they said forced relocation doubled the risk of women developing anemia and greatly decreased their chances of receiving any antenatal care.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University in the United States and the Burma Medical Association surveyed 3,000 women along the border in eastern Myanmar and found that nearly 90 percent of them delivered their last baby at home.

“Coverage of basic maternal health interventions is woefully inadequate in these selected populations and substantially lower than even the national estimates for Burma, among the lowest in the region,” they wrote.

“Considerable political, financial and human resources will be needed to improve maternal health in this region.”

A skilled attendant, or midwife, was present at only five percent of births, and only a third of women had any antenatal or postnatal care, they said. Only a third of the women surveyed reported access to effective contraceptives.

Few women received iron supplements or used insecticide-treated bednets. Consequently more than half the women were anemic and 7.2 percent were infected with malaria. Many women showed signs of poor nutrition, they found.

They said human rights violations impacted greatly on women’s health. In the Karen region, more than 10 percent of households were forced to move, while in the Shan region many women reported forced labor, forced relocation, threats to food security, and direct attacks.

The odds of receiving no antenatal care services were almost six times higher among those forcibly displaced, it said.

(Reporting by Tan Ee Lyn; Editing by Sugita Katyal)


Related Posts:

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Younger women have equal access to kidney transplants compared with their male counterparts, but older women receive kidney transplants much less frequently than older men, new research shows. However, the research team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore “found no difference in survival benefit from transplantation between men and women, suggesting

Full Post: Older women have less access to donated kidneys

By Paul Simao JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A global effort to reduce deaths during pregnancy and childbirth is likely to fail unless action is taken to improve health care in the developing world, the United Nations Children’s Fund said on Thursday. More than half a million expectant and new mothers die each year, most in Africa and Asia

Full Post: Urgent action needed to cut maternal deaths: UNICEF

By David Douglas NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Perinatal mortality risk is increased in mothers with psychiatric disorders, and in their offspring as well, UK and Danish researchers report in an advance online publication by the Archives of Disease in Childhood–Fetal and Neonatal Edition. As senior investigator Dr. Kathryn M. Abel told Reuters Health, “A history of

Full Post: Maternal mental illness tied to perinatal deaths

BEIJING (Reuters) - The number of gay men in China who are HIV positive has risen sharply in the last three years, according to a survey of Chinese cities conducted by the Ministry of Health. Men with HIV make up 4.9 percent of the gay population, up from 0.4 percent in 2005, the Xinhua news agency

Full Post: China sees sharp rise in HIV-positive gay men

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Pregnant women are more willing to accept potential risks of delivering their baby vaginally than are the medical professionals caring for them, Australian researchers report. And among the health care workers surveyed, midwives were ready to take the greatest risks, while colorectal surgeons and urogynecologists — the medical professionals involved in

Full Post: Women more willing than docs to accept labor risks

Site Navigation

Most Read