Sufficient Facilities and Training Are Not Enough To Reduce Maternal Mortality
The following quotes sum up what is hampering further reductions in maternal mortality in the Dominican Republic: “Despite the very high number of hospital births in the Dominican Republic — ninety-three per cent institutional deliveries, one of the highest rates in Latin America — maternal mortality remains very high. International Women’s Rights Action Watch sources believe that this statistical anomaly is the result of callous and neglectful medical care. Ninety-seven per cent of women receive at least minimal pre-natal care, and yet this has not affected the high rate of maternal mortality”1.
“The government has created a Comité National de Mortalidad Materna, but it is not a priority office and has no budget to actualize any of the ambitious rhetoric of its recently published “Plan de Acción Nacional para la Reducción de la Mortalidad Materna,” a national plan for the reduction of maternal mortality”2. At the time of writing we could not find evidence the situation had changed.
Maternal health has been compromised by an over burdened and under funded health care system, which has lead to numerous practices which have allowed doctors to see more patience, but at the expense of over all health. Unnecessary Caesarean sections and episiotomies are frequently performed in order to provide more order for the doctor, but the lack of appropriate training, sanitation and follow-up care has come at a heart breaking loss to overall maternal health3.
Further exacerbating the situation have been several government policy roll backs in access to sex education and access to contraceptives4. This has lead to an increase in teen pregnancy and unsafe abortions, both of which contribute to higher maternal death rates.
- International Women’s Rights Action Watch, Shadow Report to the CESCR 2003, Maternal Mortality ↩
- International Women’s Rights Action Watch, CESCR Shadow Report, 1996 Maternal Mortality ↩
- UNFPA ↩
- rhrealitycheck.org ↩