Maternal death toll exceeds tropical diseases in West Africa

Number of maternal deaths in the region is bigger than that of all tropical diseases combined, including malaria and tuberculosis, a West African Health Organisation (WAHO) report has stated.

As many as 14 countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) with the exception of Cape Verde, reported a total of 5,084 maternal deaths in health care settings, Director of Planning, Research and Health Information at WAHO, Salifou Zouma, told regional delegates during the presentation, China’s official new agency Xinhua said.

“Although underestimated due to insufficient reporting, the number of maternal deaths is much higher than the total number of deaths caused by all epidemic-prone diseases in the region,” he said.

He said the latest available estimates showed that malaria incidence is among at-risk populations in the ECOWAS region and among the highest in the world. Tuberculosis also remains a major public health problem in the region.
“The estimated prevalence of the disease varies from 46 per 1,00,000 inhabitants in Togo to 374 per 100 000 in Guinea-Bissau in 2016, with 10 countries out of the 15 of the community having a level of incidence greater than 100 per 100 000 inhabitants,” he said.

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