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12 Jun 2015

Belarus’ maternal mortality lower than in 53 states of WHO European Region

MINSK, 12 June (BelTA) - The maternal mortality rate in Belarus is lower than in 53 countries of the European Region of the World Health Organization (WHO), BelTA learned from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Office in Belarus.

Deputy Representative of the UNFPA in Belarus Elena Kasko noted that Belarus has made a considerable advance in reducing the maternal mortality. Other countries are interested in Belarus’ experience in this field.

Head of the main department of medical care organization at the Health Ministry of Belarus Yelena Bogdan said that the country has been working hard to reduce the maternal mortality for the past 15 years. She mentioned some measures taken to encourage pregnant women to timely refer to maternity services and to adhere to medical recommendations.

A system of pre-pregnancy counseling, screening and monitoring during pregnancy has been created.

The government has ruled that only women who have registered with a maternity service no later than 12 weeks are eligible for government payments and this decision has made a difference. As a result, 97-98% of the women in early pregnancy get registered with the ob-gyn service.

The goal to reduce the mortality from extragenital pathology is attained through the implementation of a pregnancy screening system which provides for more frequent (not less than 15) visits to an ob-gyn for ultrasound screening and necessary medical examinations, and checks by a general practitioner not less than twice during the period of pregnancy.

Only 183 out of 144,000 childbirths in Belarus happen outside hospital maternity units. Half of these 183 are home births attended by emergency doctors who have special qualifications and skills.

“The reduction in the number of premature births, obstetric bleedings, and hysterectomies attests to the effectiveness of these measures,” Yelena Bogdan stressed.

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