United Nations Not Doing Enough To Save Mothers, Studies Say

The United Nations strategies to save mothers around the globe are being questioned, after analyses of the maternal health program data acquired over the past few years revealed that these campaigns aren’t as effective as expected. Although billions are spent every year on health campaigns and medical programs for mothers, especially in third world countries, studies – one of which was commissioned by the UN itself – reveal the shocking inefficiency of the UN in saving mothers.

A few critics have spoken out against UN strategies over the past few years, but the efforts of UN have been positively received by the general public. Now, critics are resurfacing once more to question the huge amount of money that goes into maternal health care strategies which have been recently found to be surprisingly ineffective. The money spent on these programs is typically used to purchase cheap medicines, such magnesium sulphate and antibiotics, which are used to treat labor complications and emergency cesarean operations.

A study involving 300,000 women from 30 countries found these supposed life-saving programs had almost no effect on the death rates of women giving birth. Areas that benefited from the expensive interventions did not fare better than areas which had minimal UN maternal interventions.

The Associated Press reported the multi-billion dollar efforts of the UN were almost useless, according to the analysis done using reliable data.

Dr. Omrana Pasha of Aga Khan University in Pakistan, who has had extensive experience in maternal health interventions, admitted she was surprised at the results:

“Nobody could have been more surprised than I was when we got the results. In clinical medicine, we would not prescribe a drug unless multiple trials show that it works. The FDA won’t allow a drug to be marketed without that evidence. But things are different in public health.”

The UN spent $13 billion for maternal interventions since 2009, but the recent studies reveal the money being used on such programs is basically going nowhere.

Many experts believe that a serious overhaul in the planning of these mother care programs should be considered.

Doctor Sandrine Simon of the Doctors of the World charity said:

“These essential interventions are important but they are not enough. This is about more than buying the right medicines.”

Bill Easterly, an NYU economist, warned:

“We need to be more honest and serious about past failures otherwise we will keep making the same mistakes,”

[Image from United Nations Photo via Flickr]