What does maternal health look like in Jordan?

maternal health
A national 2018 report laid the foundation for showing Jordan’s infant mortality rate. However, there have not been any studies as comprehensive since. (Photo: Unsplash)
Maternal health is defined as health during pregnancy, childbirth, and the post-childbirth period. According to the WHO, 295,000 women died during or following pregnancy in 2017 alone.اضافة اعلان

Maternal deaths are considered preventable through better supervision by skilled health professionals and a supportive environment. Problems may arise during pregnancy that can lead to complications if not managed correctly, which is why maternal health is essential to preventing these complications.
To ensure maternal health is taken seriously, more effort should be put forth to increase awareness and encourage women to speak to their doctors about any issue that may arise during pregnancy.

Maternal health is essential to preventing the tragedy of losing a mother or a child and reducing the negative effects families can face. Therefore, maternity care should be improved to encompass the entirety of the process from pregnancy to postnatal care.

Maternal health conditions

A variety of conditions can arise during pregnancy, childbirth, and post-pregnancy that may lead to complications if not managed and treated correctly. Some of these to look out for are:

Anemia: Iron levels should be checked by your healthcare provider regularly during pregnancy. Having a lower than average number of healthy red blood cells due to pregnancy can lead to a weak or fatigued feeling. This can be treated by taking iron and folic acid supplements as recommended by your doctor.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs): healthcare providers often test urine in the early stages of pregnancy to treat any infections appropriately. Pregnant women must keep an eye out for any symptoms such as pain or burning while urinating, needing to urinate more often, and any fever or excessive tiredness. Symptoms must be reported immediately to a healthcare provider so they can take the proper action.

Hypertension (high blood pressure): If not managed correctly, high blood pressure during pregnancy puts the mother and her baby at risk. It can lead to many complications such as preeclampsia (damage to organs such as the liver and kidneys), placental abruption (placenta separates from the uterine wall), and gestational diabetes. If you have any issues with blood pressure before a pregnancy, they must be discussed with your doctor. Blood pressure during a pregnancy should be monitored regularly.

Diabetes: Elevated blood sugar can be a problem for both the mother and her baby during pregnancy. Diabetic women must discuss with their doctors a routine to monitor their blood sugar. High blood sugar during conception increases the risk of congenital disabilities, stillbirths, and preterm birth. Many women develop diabetes during pregnancy. This type of diabetes is referred to as gestational diabetes, which can impact the mother and the child. It can be managed typically by diet and exercise recommended by your doctor.

Hyperemesis gravidarum (extreme persistent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy): Morning sickness is normal with most pregnancies; however, if it persists, it can lead to health problems for the mother, such as severe dehydration and poor weight management. In rare cases, it may also cause esophageal bleeding. Talk to your health care provider if nausea and vomiting are severe and persistent.

Reform in Jordan

Having an accurate maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is vital to determining the level of maternal health care being provided. Previous estimations were often inaccurate as they were done externally.

One such estimate was conducted by the WHO in 2015, and it suggested that there were roughly 58 deaths per 10,000 live births. In response to this, the Jordanian government partnered with USAID Health Service Delivery to develop a system that could monitor maternal deaths.

(Photo: Jordan News)

This system was called Jordan’s Maternal Mortality Surveillance and Response (JMMSR) System. The JMMSR was an internal monitoring system that allowed for more accurate surveillance of maternal mortality and potential causes.

A year after its implementation, the first National MMR was produced in 2018. In this report, they determined that Jordan’s accurate MMR was 29.8 deaths per 10,000 live births, showing Jordan as being on par with its neighboring counterparts in reducing maternal mortality.

This report was comprehensive in its data collection and analysis, going as far as to determine specific causes and factors and potential responses that the Jordanian government could take.

The report was conducted mainly with the help of USAID, and no other reports have been produced since, especially not with the same degree of comprehensiveness. Nevertheless, this report is integral in showing the potential Jordan has in reforming its maternal healthcare.

Some of the responses listed in the 2018 report have even more significant potential in reducing maternal mortality. This included actions to be taken against obstetric hemorrhages (excessive bleeding relating to pregnancy) and venous thromboembolism (blood clots in the veins) in the form of prevention and management, as well as reducing the number of unnecessary primary cesarean section deliveries (C-sections).

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National Maternal Mortality Report - 2018