Maternal mortality high in Comarca Ngobe-Bugle
COMARCA NGOBE BUGLE. Maternal mortality in the Ngoble-Bugle region is a persistent problem, with a large number of indigenous women dyi...
COMARCA NGOBE BUGLE. Maternal mortality in the Ngoble-Bugle region is a persistent problem, with a large number of indigenous women dying after childbirth according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The deaths are generally a product of lack of proper attention and the inability to recognize high risk childbirths.
According to Junko Sazaki, UNFPA director for Panama and Costa Rica, despite the high levels of development in the country, certain communities are being left out, which is a shame given that one of the millennium goals is to reduce maternal mortality by 2015.
Sazaki explains that maternal mortality is not a hard problem to tackle, as long as a plan or strategy is established. She recommends women who present high risk during pregnancy to be sent to hospitals to prevent complications that could lead to death.
She recognized that, generally, in indigenous community more attention is given to the health of the baby rather than that of the mother’s.
Guillermo Guerra, Health Ministry director in Ngobe-Bugle, said that maternal mortality in the region has been slightly decreasing, quoting that last year there were two less cases than in 2007.
He explained that in the region “machismo prevails” which plays an important role when deciding to ask for outside help. Guerra added that work is being done with the men in the community, who many times refuse to take women to hospital facilities, to convince them of the need of proper care.
Sazaki and Guerra hope pregnant women living in remote areas can move to areas near health facilities two or three week before their due date in case any emergency arises.