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Maternal health and its affecting factors in Nepal

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      Abstract

      Maternal health is still a public health problem in developing countries, especially in low-resource settings rural and poor communities. The main aim of this article is to critically evaluate and explore the situation of maternal health in Nepal based on published or unpublished governmental or nongovernmental organization’s scientific reports regarding maternal health. We found that there were several direct or indirect causes and affecting factors of maternal death in Nepal, which are preventable. Women have been facing different consequences during pregnancy and delivery, attributed to lack of proper knowledge or less available and affordable health facilities in rural communities. Therefore, there is needed an essential maternal health knowledge to women and also establish health facilities with a quality health care service on affordable and accessible to prevent maternal death and minimize complications.

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      Most cited references 31

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      Family planning: the unfinished agenda.

      Promotion of family planning in countries with high birth rates has the potential to reduce poverty and hunger and avert 32% of all maternal deaths and nearly 10% of childhood deaths. It would also contribute substantially to women's empowerment, achievement of universal primary schooling, and long-term environmental sustainability. In the past 40 years, family-planning programmes have played a major part in raising the prevalence of contraceptive practice from less than 10% to 60% and reducing fertility in developing countries from six to about three births per woman. However, in half the 75 larger low-income and lower-middle income countries (mainly in Africa), contraceptive practice remains low and fertility, population growth, and unmet need for family planning are high. The cross-cutting contribution to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals makes greater investment in family planning in these countries compelling. Despite the size of this unfinished agenda, international funding and promotion of family planning has waned in the past decade. A revitalisation of the agenda is urgently needed. Historically, the USA has taken the lead but other governments or agencies are now needed as champions. Based on the sizeable experience of past decades, the key features of effective programmes are clearly established. Most governments of poor countries already have appropriate population and family-planning policies but are receiving too little international encouragement and funding to implement them with vigour. What is currently missing is political willingness to incorporate family planning into the development arena.
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        Socioeconomic and physical distance to the maternity hospital as predictors for place of delivery: an observation study from Nepal

        Background Although the debate on the safety and women's right of choice to a home delivery vs. hospital delivery continues in the developed countries, an undesirable outcome of home delivery, such as high maternal and perinatal mortality, is documented in developing countries. The objective was to study whether socio-economic factors, distance to maternity hospital, ethnicity, type and size of family, obstetric history and antenatal care received in present pregnancy affected the choice between home and hospital delivery in a developing country. Methods This cross-sectional study was done during June, 2001 to January 2002 in an administratively and geographically well-defined territory with a population of 88,547, stretching from urban to adjacent rural part of Kathmandu and Dhading Districts of Nepal with maximum of 5 hrs of distance from Maternity hospital. There were no intermediate level of private or government hospital or maternity homes in the study area. Interviews were carried out on 308 women who delivered within 45 days of the date of the interview with a pre-tested structured questionnaire. Results A distance of more than one hour to the maternity hospital (OR = 7.9), low amenity score status (OR = 4.4), low education (OR = 2.9), multi-parity (OR = 2.4), and not seeking antenatal care in the present pregnancy (OR = 4.6) were statistically significantly associated with an increased risk of home delivery. Ethnicity, obstetric history, age of mother, ritual observance of menarche, type and size of family and who is head of household were not statistically significantly associated with the place of delivery. Conclusions The socio-economic standing of the household was a stronger predictor of place of delivery compared to ethnicity, the internal family structure such as type and size of family, head of household, or observation of ritual days by the mother of an important event like menarche. The results suggested that mothers, who were in the low-socio-economic scale, delivered at home more frequently in a developing country like Nepal.
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          Home delivery and newborn care practices among urban women in western Nepal: a questionnaire survey

          Background About 98% of newborn deaths occur in developing countries, where most newborns deaths occur at home. In Nepal, approximately, 90% of deliveries take place at home. Information about reasons for delivering at home and newborn care practices in urban areas of Nepal is lacking and such information will be useful for policy makers. Methods A cross-sectional survey was carried out in the immunisation clinics of Pokhara city, western Nepal during January and February, 2006. Two trained health workers administered a semi-structured questionnaire to the mothers who had delivered at home. Results A total of 240 mothers were interviewed. Planned home deliveries were 140 (58.3%) and 100 (41.7%) were unplanned. Only 6.2% of deliveries had a skilled birth attendant present and 38 (15.8%) mothers gave birth alone. Only 46 (16.2%) women had used a clean home delivery kit and only 92 (38.3%) birth attendants had washed their hands. The umbilical cord was cut after expulsion of placenta in 154 (64.2%) deliveries and cord was cut using a new/boiled blade in 217 (90.4%) deliveries. Mustard oil was applied to the umbilical cord in 53 (22.1%) deliveries. Birth place was heated throughout the delivery in 88 (64.2%) deliveries. Only 100 (45.8%) newborns were wrapped within 10 minutes and 233 (97.1%) were wrapped within 30 minutes. Majority (93.8%) of the newborns were given a bath soon after birth. Mustard oil massage of the newborns was a common practice (144, 60%). Sixteen (10.8%) mothers did not feed colostrum to their babies. Prelacteal feeds were given to 37(15.2%) newborns. Initiation rates of breast-feeding were 57.9% within one hour and 85.4% within 24 hours. Main reasons cited for delivering at home were 'preference' (25.7%), 'ease and convenience' (21.4%) for planned deliveries while 'precipitate labor' (51%), 'lack of transportation' (18%) and 'lack of escort' during labor (11%) were cited for the unplanned ones. Conclusion High-risk home delivery and newborn care practices are common in urban population also. In-depth qualitative studies are needed to explore the reasons for delivering at home. Community-based interventions are required to improve the number of families engaging a skilled attendant and hygiene during delivery. The high-risk traditional newborn care practices like delayed wrapping, bathing, mustard oil massage, prelacteal feeding and discarding colostrum need to be addressed by culturally acceptable community-based health education programmes.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            1Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
            2Beijing Municipal Key Laboratory of Clinical Epidemiology, Beijing, China
            3School of Health and Well–Being, University of Wolverhampton, UK
            4Ashwani Ayruvedic Hospital, Kerala, India
            5School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia
            Author notes
            CORRESPONDING AUTHORS: Xiuhua Guo, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Capital Medical University, No.10 Xitoutiao, You’anmen Wai, Fengtai District, Beijing 100069, China, Tel.: +86-10-83911508, Fax: +86-10-83911508, E-mail: guoxiuh@123456ccmu.edu.cn, Gehendra Mahara, PhD Fellow, Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Capital Medical University, No. 10 Xitoutiao, You’anmen Wai, Fengtai District, Beijing 100069, China, E-mail: gbmahara@123456gmail.com
            Journal
            FMCH
            Family Medicine and Community Health
            FMCH
            Compuscript (Ireland)
            2009-8774
            2305-6983
            July 2016
            August 2016
            : 4
            : 3
            : 30-34
            Copyright © 2016 Family Medicine and Community Health

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

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