PAHO says wider access to ultrasound saves maternal lives in the Caribbean

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first_img Tweet 207 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! HealthLifestyleNewsRegional PAHO says wider access to ultrasound saves maternal lives in the Caribbean by: Caribbean Media Corporation – November 2, 2015 Sharecenter_img Share Share WASHINGTON, DC, United States (CMC) – The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) says better access to ultrasound and other radiology services can reduce maternal and neonatal deaths across the Americas, including the Caribbean.“Obstetric ultrasound is instrumental in identifying potential risks to mother and child, and interventional radiology makes child birth safer for some women by managing postpartum haemorrhage,” said Dr Pablo Jimenez, PAHO Regional Advisor in Radiological Health.“But the full potential of these radiological techniques have yet to be realized in our region,” he said, stressing the importance of “strengthening health systems to make life-saving radiology services more widely accessible.”On average, PAHO said 16 women die every day in Latin America and the Caribbean from complications of pregnancy or childbirth, while 250 babies die each day before having reached 28 days of age.PAHO said many of the complications, including foetal mal presentation, multiple gestations, ectopic pregnancy and placentaprevia, can be managed with early diagnosis starting with ultrasound imaging.Interventional radiology techniques such as embolization, in which radiological images are used to guide a catheter into the body to stop internal bleeding without open surgery, can play a major role in reducing deaths from postpartum haemorrhage, PAHO said.Overall, it said an estimated 8.2 per cent of mothers who give birth in Latin America and the Caribbean suffer from a severe postpartum haemorrhage that requires transfusion.PAHO said while pregnant women in high-income countries usually receive early and advanced prenatal care, including radiology services, “those services are lacking in many parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.“And where the services are offered, they are often of questionable quality,” PAHO said, noting that in some cases the radiographers are poorly trained to use equipment; while, in other cases, the technology either doesn’t work or has not been properly maintained.“Ultrasound equipment is relatively affordable, portable and, when operated by trained professionals, completely safe and accurate,” Jimenez said.“But radiology requires well trained professionals with extensive knowledge in the acquisition and interpretation of images coupled with the implementation of quality control and assurance programs to ensure a reliable and accurate diagnosis. Our goal is to make that level of care much more widely available.”PAHO said while maternal mortality declined 43 per cent in Latin America and 30 percent in the Caribbean between 1990 and 2010, “this progress was not sufficient to achieve the 75 per cent reduction by 2015 called for in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).”To help countries accelerate reductions in maternal mortality, PAHO said it is leading the “Zero Deaths from Haemorrhage” initiative.The initiative targets obstetric hemorrhage, the second-leading cause of maternal death in the Americas, by supporting country efforts to expand women’s access to the quality health services they need.PAHO said the initiative promotes quality assurances and respect for women’s rights while working to strengthen the health workforce and the use of simple health technologies.It also addresses geographical and cultural barriers that cause delays in women’s seeking care.PAHO said access to radiological services is “one more tool that can help reduce preventable deaths”.last_img

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