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This week we should choose a story from WomenWatch. I chose the story „HEALTH: Treat the mother - save the baby”
This story is about to save the mother’s health during pregnancy and that’s the key to the babies’ survival.
The traditional childhood killers - measles, pneumonia and diarrhoea - are all down; even where malaria is still rife, treated bednets are saving children’s lives. But as deaths from other causes drop, mortality in the first month of life looms ever larger.
If the mothers were infected with malaria, or with a range of sexually transmitted and reproductive tract infections - syphilis, gonorrhoea, Chlamydia and bacterial and parasitic infections of the vagina and it is left untreated, these can lead to miscarriages, stillbirths, premature births and low birth-weight babies.
But many of mothers will have no symptoms and be unaware they are infected. So what can be done?
One possibility is to do a blood test for malaria at each antenatal visit, and only give treatment if the test is positive.
But the test doesn’t show if the placenta is infected, which is what affects the unborn baby, and this approach doesn’t give protection against sexually transmitted infections.
They need more medical supporting to investigate each woman and to protect the unborn child.