COVID-19 impact on pregnancy outcomes was disproportionately high on poorer countries, according to the study published on March 31 2021.
- Risk of stillbirths also increased
- The failure of the health system to cope with COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an increase in maternal deaths and stillbirths, according to a study published in The Lancet Global Health journal.
- Overall, there was a 28% increase in the odds of stillbirth, and the risk of mothers dying during pregnancy or childbirth increased by about one-third.
- There was also a rise in maternal depression.
- Fewer women received ante-natal checkups during the pandemic, data show.
The report is an analysis of 40 studies across 17 countries including Brazil, Mexico, the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Denmark, Nether lands, Italy, India, China and Nepal.
In the Indian context, an analysis of HMIS (Health Management Information System) data by Population Foundation of India shows that during the months of national lock down last year between April and June, compared to the same period in 2019, there was a 27% drop in pregnant women receiving four or more ante-natal check-ups, a 28% decline in institutional deliveries and 22% decline in prenatal services.
Policymakers and healthcare leaders must urgently investigate robust strategies for preserving safe and respectful maternity care, even during the ongoing global emergency. Im mediate action is required to avoid rolling back de cades of investment in re ducing mother and infant mortality in low-resource settings,
- The Lancet Global Health journal
- HMIS (Health Management Information System) data by Population Foundation of India