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Myanmar to conduct first maternal mortality survey

Xinhua General News Service, 2 May 2005

Yangon: The Myanmar Health Department will conduct the first nationwide survey on maternal mortality starting later this month to help draft a strategic plan to bring down the death rates of mothers and children, a local weekly journal reported Monday.

The survey will be so carried out as to find out specific causes of such deaths, the Myanmar Times quoted sources with the department as saying.

The survey, assisted by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), will be made among 250,000 households in 120 townships, an official of the department said.

According to the official, maternal and infant mortality rates in Myanmar are high compared with other Southeast Asian nations.

Figures released by the health ministry reveal that there were 4,300 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births in Myanmar in 2000.

Along with the survey, Myanmar will also conduct its first similar UNICEF-funded survey on micronutrients beginning later this month to determine the extent of deficiencies in vitamin A, iron and iodine levels, the report said. Malnutrition also stands as a silent killer of mothers and children.

The survey will cover women aged 15 to 49 and children under five in 1,600 households to identify nutritional factors and disease resulted from malnutrition, the report added.



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