Laos achieves significant improvement in maternal health, says report

VIENTIANE, March 25 (Bernama-Xinhua): The loss of life for mothers during childbirth has reached its lowest point in Laos' history, according to a report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) website.

From 2000 to 2020, the number of pregnant women who died per 100,000 live births dropped from 579 in 2000 to 126 in 2020, a reduction of 78.7 per cent, one of the fastest falling rates in the world, estimated the report issued on Wednesday.

"Laos' achievement is an important milestone towards achieving zero preventable maternal deaths by 2030.

"But we must be cautious as we are yet to accurately measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternal health," the report quoted United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative to Laos Mariam A. Khan as saying.

Laos has also achieved significant improvements in the care quality during pregnancy, labour, newborn care and childcare.

"No mother should die while giving birth to life.

"This new data is proof of the tremendous efforts that Laos has made over the past two decades to ensure that every woman can have access to affordable, high-quality maternal and newborn care services," said United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Representative to Laos Pia Rebello Britto.

Laos' progress in maternal health is essentially attributed to an increase in the number and quality of midwives, nurses, and other skilled birth attendants.

The WHO, UNFPA and UNICEF remain committed to supporting Laos to build on the significant progress and address the remaining challenges, according to the report. - Bernama-Xinhua

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