Half of women in middle income countries not receiving low cost drugs to protect newborns
A new study has found out that in middle-income countries half of women are not getting simple, effective and low-cost treatment to prevent death and disability in their newborn babies.
The study looked at the patterns of antenatal corticosteroid use in preterm births and tocolytic drugs to delay delivery in spontaneous preterm births among 303 842 births that took place in 359 hospitals in 29 countries.
Study leader Dr Joshua Vogel from the Department of Reproductive Health and Research at WHO in Geneva said that giving antenatal corticosteroids to women at risk of preterm birth was one of the most effective treatments for reducing newborn death and illness. More than three-quarters of premature babies could be saved with cost-effective interventions such as antenatal corticosteroids.
Vogel explained that ideally, women in preterm labour between 26 and 34 weeks' gestation should receive antenatal corticosteroids, yet only 52percent of eligible women received them and for women in spontaneous preterm labour, using tocolytic drugs could delay delivery and allow more time for antenatal corticosteroids to work, but only 18percent of eligible women received both treatments and 42percent received neither.
The study is published in The Lancet.
(Posted on 13-08-2014)