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TDs Asked to Help Cut Maternal Mortality

By June 1, 2009News

Irish Medical News 2 June, 2009

Nick O'Donoghue

Governments are failing to meet targets to reduce maternal deaths set in the Millennium Development Goals nine years ago, a consultant obstetrician from Chad has told the Oireachtas.

Dr Grace Kodindo, who is also assistant clinical professor of Population and Family Health at the Mailman School of Public Health in Columbia University, said the Goals set to minimise maternal deaths globally had made no impact almost a decade after they were set.

During a visit to Dublin earlier this month, Dr Kodindo screened a new documentary Dead Mums Don’t Cry at the Oireachtas to encourage Irish politicians put pressure on their international colleagues to fulfill the agreements to cut maternal mortality by 75 per cent by 2015.

“That has been the commitment that all countries, poor or rich, have agreed upon during the Millennium Summit in 2000 in Niger, but nothing much has really been done.

“In my own country, Chad, one woman out of 11 dies from complications related to pregnancy or child birth, while in Ireland it’s one woman out of 47,000,” she said.

Labour MEP Proinsias De Rossa said more money was needed to tackle the problem.

“We know what is causing this suffering and death, we know how to prevent it, and we have the resources to do it if only they were made available. More money is needed. And a greater priority must be given to this particular Millennium Development Goal,” he said.