POSTED April 6, 2021
How is COVID-19 affecting maternal health worldwide?
A new study finds women and their babies could be at risk
The rate of stillbirths and maternal deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic may have gone up, according to a data review from London’s Lancet Global Health journal, whose authors compiled results from 40 studies, representing 17 countries.
It’s believed lockdowns, service breakdowns and fears of attending healthcare facilities may have increased risks for mothers and their babies, especially in developing countries.
“In resource-poor countries, even under normal circumstances, it is a challenge to provide adequate coverage for antenatal checkups, obstetric emergencies, universal institutional deliveries and respectful maternity care,” professor Asma Khalil, who co-led the research at St George’s University of London, was quoted as saying by Thomson Reuters. “The COVID-19 pandemic has widened this gap.”
Thankfully, Children Believe hasn’t noticed this pattern anecdotally in the countries where we work, although it may be too early to tell. We have been keeping vigilant, ensuring the continuity of maternity care despite pressure to divert service. We also continue to share safety protocols with pregnant women so they are aware of how to protect against COVID-19, and we assure them of their access to continuous maternal healthcare.
ABOUT CHILDREN BELIEVE (formerly Christian Children's Fund of Canada):
Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60 years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.
About ChildFund Alliance:
A member of ChildFund Alliance, Children Believe is part of a global network of 12 child-focused development organizations working to create opportunities for children and youth, their families and communities. ChildFund helps nearly 23-million children and their families in more than 70 countries overcome poverty and underlying conditions that prevent children from achieving their full potential. We work to end violence against children; provide expertise in emergencies and disasters to ease the harmful impact on children and their communities; and engage children and youth to create lasting change and elevate their voices in decisions that affect their lives.