Unsanitary birth conditions taking their toll


Deficit of safe water, sanitation and hygiene present at birth is killing mothers and newborn children all around the developing world. The World Health Organization, UNICEF, UNFPA and other organizations aided by Water Aid and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have all raised their voice against unsanitary birth conditions in order to protect the lives of mothers and their babies. They sent help to provide improved access to clean and safe water and improve sanitation and hygiene both in healthcare facilities and homes.

According to Yael Velleman people have known how important it is to have clean water and proper hygiene while giving birth even since Victorian times. Times have changed from then and it is not acceptable for this problem to exist in the 21st century. Tens of thousands of mothers are giving birth in a place where the obstetrician doesn’t even have access to clean water. Mothers, in no case should be allowed to take this risk and possibly die when giving birth.

He also noted that governments and health institutions encourage women to give birth in hospitals instead of performing home births because they have a better chance of surviving if any complications appear. However if the hospitals and clinics don’t have clean beds and instruments, clean toilets, water and have a filthy environment women will often avoid them because they are scared that they might catch an infection.

At the end Velleman noted that governments are aiding women in the process of childbirth but they also need to continue their support in the coming months. The UN started a discussion about new Sustainable Development Goals, so Velleman thinks that this needs should be addressed there in order to be properly analyzed.

This problem is mostly noticed in poor and developing countries. Almost 8000 women in Tanzania die after giving childbirth yearly. A minimum of 10% of this death is caused by sepsis because most of these women give birth at home since they can’t afford to visit a hospital. Most of this homes lack basic sanitations and clean water but women have no choice because health facilities are either lacking proper accommodation or are too expensive for the common people.


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