Restrictions cause maternal mortality

[TamilNet, Sunday, 10 January 1999, 14:14 GMT]
Hospital sources in Batticaloa said today that the district had the highest mortality rate among pregnant women in the island. The island average is 1000:6 but in the Batticaloa district fourteen women out of every thousand who are pregnant die, mainly due to the difficulties in finding medical attention on time.

Twelve pregnant women have died upon admission to the hospital mainly due this problem.

Acute malnutrition in some of the hinterland villages due to poverty and SLA restrictions on food and medicine have also contributed to the high mortality rate, said a medical officer.

The actual mortality rate could be much higher because many cases in the hinterland, that is not in the SLA's (Sri Lankan Army) control, go unrecorded they pointed out.

A number of Maternity centres in the larger part of the district have been closed due to restrictions by the SLA on travel and medicine.

Meanwhile, the sources said that during 1998, the number of surgeries performed at the hospital had also gone up due to the war situation.

The annual average,during peaceful times, used to be around 5000 (upper limit) but in 1998 there were 7538 cases, they said.

The bodies of sixty two persons who died in shooting incidents, involving the SLA in most cases, were brought to the Batticaloa hospital during the year.

However, the actual death toll due to shooting could be much higher because a large number of the bodies of persons killed in SLA fire were also taken for inquest at the hospitals at Aaraiampathy and Kaluwaanchikkudy in the southern part of the district and at the Eravur and Valaichenai hospital which are north of Batticaloa.

 

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