I'm writing in support of Dr. Hou and Dr. Auto regarding the above subject. We are way too far to achieving those MDG guidelines due to the reasons rightly stated by the doctors.
A lot of work needs to be done to address the underlying causes to young children and maternal mortalities for us to see a reduction in the current statistics. An example of the many underlying causes to morbidity and mortality in children and women of Solomon Islands is "anaemia".
The 2007 SI National Health and Demographic survey reported 60% prevalence rate of anaemia among pregnant women, 44.3 % in non pregnant women and 48.5% in children 6 - 59 months. This should be a huge concern to the decision makers and the government.
Many studies have shown that women with anaemia are at a higher risk of infection, maternal mortality, poor pregnancy outcomes (i.e. low birth weight babies, poor neurocognitive development of foetus, preterm delivery, haemorrhage and death), impaired cognitive function, tiredness, depression, and reduced work capacity. In young children anaemia during the fetal development and early infancy stages can permenantly impair their cognitive development and reduced immunity functions.
The two main causes of anaemia identified from the SI Health and Demographic survey were, mother's education and food unavailabilty. I assumed that there are other independent causes like poor sanitation (hookworm) and malaria are also to be blamed. Anaemia can be prevented and thus needs a multi-sectoral approach to address it.
I know the Ministry of Health is trying its best to address this issue, but needs strong support and coordination between all its stakeholders (Education sector, Agriculture, Commerce, NGO and etc...) for the reduction of anaemia prevalence rate and that will contribute greatly to the improvement of maternal and child health in the Solomon Islands.
Health Related MDG May Not be Achieved
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of Rosemary Rodomalefo and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.
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