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Health expert warns career women on childbirth

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Health expert has cautioned women pursuing different careers disregarding timely childbirth that they risk dying from complications during delivery later in life.

Among others, the expert cites frequent child-bearing by some women who want to have plenty of time to further their studies and other ambitions as well as early childbirth as among factors contributing to high maternal mortality rate in the country.

According to Timothy Bonyonga, who is Community Mobilisation Coordinator for Safe Motherhood Initiative, bleeding is the number one cause of maternal mortality in the country and is perpetuated by too early pregnancies, delayed pregnancies, too frequent childbearing and too many children bearing.

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Meanwhile, Malawi has failed to attain Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Number Five of reducing maternal mortality rate to 155 out of 100,000 live births by 2015 and is now faced with a new challenge of attaining Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of reducing maternal mortality rate to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030.

In an interview with The Daily Times, Bonyonga observed that historically 47percent of Malawians are stunted from the day of conception leading to delayed developmental milestone hence difficult to withstand pregnancy related complications such as bleeding disorders.

Said Bonyonga: “Actually women who become pregnant after attaining the age of 35 are prone to pregnancy induced hypertension, a cause of maternal death globally. Currently, it is not surprising to see women aged above 35 carrying their first pregnancy or subsequent pregnancies because of school or work commitments only to end up with pregnancy induced hypertension leading to complications, including death.

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“Emphasis on health timing and spacing of pregnancies would assist in attaining sustainable goal of reducing maternal mortality rate in Malawi. Most women actually die due to too frequent childbearing, hence making their bodies too weak to withstand complications of the subsequent pregnancies, but women pursuing different careers overlook this”.

He added that there is need for planning methods to allow child bearing at an interval of 3 to 5 years to enable the level of body salts to return to its normal levels and accommodate the next pregnancy thereby preventing bleeding disorders that would lead to premature death of innocent women.

According to him another attainment of SDG on maternal health by 2030 is also possible if emphasis on either desired family size of four and a replacement concept of two children per household is promoted.

“Education is a solution to this problem since people will be able to have a map of reproductive life and avoid pregnancies after attaining the age of 35 and reduce maternal death. The education would also promote screening of both communicable and non-communicable diseases before pregnancy and after child birth and allow early treatment seeking behaviour,” he said.

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