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Still Births continue to be a problem

We are fast approaching the New Year and it has become a tradition to report on the first baby of the year. It is noteworthy to mention that not all mothers will deliver a healthy baby. According to the Ministry of Health, there were a total of sixty-nine stillbirths in 2016. Love News spoke with Dr. Natalia Beer, Maternal and Child Health Technical Advisor at the Ministry of Health, who explained some of the causes of stillbirth.


Natalia Beer, Maternal and Child Health Technical Advisor, Ministry of Health

“Placental complications, then you have infections, then we have high-risk conditions. So you know the placenta is responsible for blood supply and nourishing the baby and when this is not functioning properly then we can have a stillbirth. When the baby grows it needs more blood supply and more nourishment. Diabetes is a cause of stillbirth; smoking drinking, drugs, obesity just being obese can increase the risk for stillbirth. A chronic problem like epilepsy; infections, E.coli is one of the most common along with group B streptococcus and E.coli could be related to poor hygiene practices.”

For the past four years, sixty-nine was the lowest in 2016 and eighty-four was the highest in 2014. It is worth mentioning that for the four years, Cayo reported the highest number of stillbirths for three of the four years. Dr. Beer shared what may be behind it.


Natalia Beer, Maternal and Child Health Technical Advisor, Ministry of Health:

“Well, I guess if you map it against the poverty rate map you can see that they might be a correlation because usually when you have high poverty rate you already know the population is at risk with women having less access to school. Drop out early from school, poor hygiene practices related to that or secondary to poor education levels.”

Dr. Beer advised that a woman who has high blood pressure or diabetes first needs to get her pressure or diabetes under control before becoming pregnant. Beer added that the Ministry of Health continues to provide prenatal care and counseling to women concerning the causes of stillbirth at the health centers throughout the country.