Nature Middle East | House of Wisdom

Childbirth complications in the Arab world

A 10-year study on maternal and newborn health in Egypt, Lebanon, the occupied Palestinian territories and Syria, has found that several bad and outdated healthcare practices threaten maternal and newborn health.

The Choices and Challenges in Changing Childbirth (CCCC) Research Network. housed at the Faculty of Health Sciences in the AUB, has been working on the report since 2001.

The researchers presented a summary of their findings as:

1) Some routine practices in hospitals are not based on the most up-to-date research on safety during childbirth for mothers and newborns

2) Problems of quality (eg poor provider-patient communication; lack of standardized procedures, etc) have been identified

3) Women are not sufficiently involved in decision-making related to their obstetric care

4) Underutilization and deficiencies in the type of services provided after birth

5) High and increasing rates of cesarean section and some unnecessary procedures increase the risk of over-medicalizing birth.

The findings echo previous papers as well as several testimonies by mothers who have given birth with a wide range of avoidable complications.

For example, a 2006 research, published in the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics found that maternal mortality was increasing in 2000 and 2001 in the West Bank in the occupied Palestinian territories, reaching 36.5 per 100,000 live births. They also identified that 69% of those deaths were avoidable.

In a 2004 paper published in the journal Birth, researchers from CCCC found that there was a sharp increase in cesarean section operations in Egypt. Many mothers in Egypt claim that doctors prefer the operation since it is more lucrative financially, and it is often done even when no medical reason is present.


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    Anastam said:

    These findings came to confirm previous findings and testimonies for pregnancy complications in these countries.

    Also, prenatal screening or prenatal diagnosis should be introduced in several cases where genetic complication are hidded in the family tree and might cause miscarriages or other adverse pregnancy outcomes.

    Last but not least, currently there are introductions of screening tests for preeclampsia allowing women to take care of themselves in early stages of pregancy in order to avoid severe complication and hypertension during childbirth.

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    Odur Benard said:

    i want to do phd in marternal health

    Your advice is most wellcome


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    Anastam said:

    According to my view, If can, it would be suggestable to find a program in the Fetal Medicine Foundation in London, in collaboration with Prof Kypros Nicolaides. He is known as the "father"of fetal medicine and many doctors follow accrediation by this well recognised center.