A new study has found that lack of proper sanitation, safe water and hygienic condition during birth settings is leading to high death rates of mothers and newborn babies in the developing nations.
A group of 16 researchers working with various global organisations, including the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and the World Health Organization (WHO), prepared a flagship research paper making some important suggestions for fighting the menace.
Yael Velleman, a senior policy analyst of health and sanitation at WaterAid, said, “We have known since Victorian times about the importance of good hygiene and clean water in birth. Yet, today tens of thousands of mothers will be giving birth in places where doctors and midwives, if present, do not have access to clean water.”
With the study, the researchers’ team has urged the world leaders to take necessary steps in order to protect the lives of new mothers and their newborns. They ask for action in the field of improvement of safe water access, basic sanitation and hygiene conditions in health care facilities and homes.
According to the researchers, even if the health care conditions are improving, the death rates among new mothers and newborn babies remain high due to lack of regular safe water supply, adequate toilets and good hygiene practice.
Lead study author Lenka Benova, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said, “What is frustrating is we know infection-related deaths are preventable, with the addition of clean water, basic toilets and good hygiene practices.”
“We are just hoping that these findings will guide future work on the United Nations development goals and also make the provision of these services a priority, when trying to improve the health of new mothers and their babies,” stressed Benova.
In 2013, an estimated 289,000 women died from complications associated with pregnancy or child birth across the world.
The study was published in the journal PLOS Medicine.