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More Women And Infants Dying At Childbirth Due To COVID-19 Environment, The Lancet Says

BRIDGETOWN — More women and infants are dying at childbirth in Latin American and the Caribbean since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic this year, The Lancet reports.

To slow an increase in premature deaths, more must be done to improve the diets of pregnant women as the region copes with the economic effects of rampant COVID-19, the authors of a report on “Maternal and Child Mortality” said.

“The response to the COVID-19 pandemic in most Latin American and Caribbean countries has led to the suspension or limitation of reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health (RMNCH) services that need restoration as soon as possible to avoid premature deaths,” the authors said.

The UNDP-UNICEF commissioned report, Challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in the health of women, children, and adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean, finds that the ongoing reduction in coverage is reversing achievements made in the past two decades on maternal and child mortality.

“These data more than justify the need to strengthen RMNCH services instead of suspending or limiting them, by: (1) increasing public spending on health and social policies to control the pandemic and to favor social and economic reactivation and reconstruction; (2) restoring and rebuilding essential health services; and (3) strengthening the primary health care strategy.”

To read the whole report by Latin America and the Caribbean writer Arachu Castro, Samuel Z. Stone endowed chair of public health in Latin America and director of the Collaborative Group for Health Equity in Latin America (CHELA) at the Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine please go to: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)32142-5/fulltext

The Lancet is a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal. It is among the world’s oldest and best-known general medical journals.

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