U.S. maternal mortality rate is twice that of Canada: U.N

admin   •   November 13, 2015   •   2587

A pregnant woman stands on a scale before receiving a prenatal exam at the Maternity Outreach Mobile in Phoenix, Arizona October 8, 2009. REUTERS/JOSHUA LOTT

A pregnant woman stands on a scale before receiving a prenatal exam at the Maternity Outreach Mobile in Phoenix, Arizona October 8, 2009.
REUTERS/JOSHUA LOTT

Women are twice as likely to die from causes related to pregnancy or childbirth in the United States than in Canada, a new global survey of maternal mortality published by the United Nations and the World Bank showed on Thursday.

The United States was also one of only 13 countries to have worse rates of maternal mortality in 2015 than in 1990 – a group that also includes North Korea, Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

The survey, led by the World Health Organization, aims to track progress against the U.N. Millennium Development Goals. It estimated there would be 303,000 maternal deaths globally this year, down from 532,000 in 1990.

The U.N. target is to get the global average number of maternal deaths below 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030, with no country averaging worse than 140.

The United States and other developed countries are already far ahead of the target, but the U.S. average has slipped from 12 deaths to 14 per 100,000 live births over the past 25 years, while Canada’s is where it was in 1990, at seven.

Over the same period Belarus has cut its maternal death rate from 33 to four, making it one of the safest places to have a baby, just behind the world leaders – Iceland, Finland, Poland and Greece – where only three mothers die for every 100,000 births.

The world average is 216 deaths, ranging from 12 in rich countries to 546 in sub-Saharan Africa.

(Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Tom Brown)

Chauvin guilty of all 3 charges over Floyd’s death

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 21, 2021

Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, 45, was convicted on three charges over the death of George Floyd.

Chauvin was convicted by a United States (US) jury on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

Chauvin was the police officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes on May 25, 2020.

Someone took a video that went viral globally. The video sparked a worldwide protest against racism and the use of brutal force by police authorities.

Floyd was apprehended by Chauvin and other police officers on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill at a grocery store in Minneapolis.

Floyd physically resisted and was handcuffed. Chauvin used his knee to pin Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes. Floyd was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Chauvin will remain in police custody to await his sentence. He may face several decades in prison for the charges. AAC (with reports from Klarenz Shaughnessy)

WHO: 63% of PH frontliners vaccinated against COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Nearly 63 percent of medical frontliners in the Philippines have been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to World Health Organization (WHO) representative to the Philippines, Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe.

On Monday (April 19), Abeyasinghe said the Philippines has provided vaccination to almost 1.25 million frontliners. However, the WHO official said it’s still not enough to fully defend the country’s healthcare workers from the virus.

“We are still short of protecting all the frontline healthcare workers and the current surge demonstrates that we need to have healthcare workers fully protected so that they can work to care for the sick. We continue to emphasize that, let us work on a priority basis to protect the frontline healthcare workers and then move gradually to the other groups that have been identified by the WHO,” he said.

Meanwhile, on the alleged hoarding of vaccines, Abeyasinghe urged countries to share vaccines and make all technology available to all countries so that they can join in increasing the capacity of vaccine production.

“The director general early on identified this as a global moral failure that we are not distributing vaccines equitably to protect the most vulnerable and at-risk population,” he said.

He also reiterated that vaccines is just one of the additional tools in the response against the pandemic and that transmissions can be reduced by properly implementing the minimum public health standards. AAC

US gives P170M support for Philippines’ COVID-19 vaccine deployment

Robie de Guzman   •   April 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The United States (US) government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has provided P170 million or $3.5 million funds to support the Philippines in its COVID-19 vaccination rollout, the US Embassy in Manila said Thursday.

U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law announced this during a visit to a vaccination site in Caloocan City with Philippine Secretary of Health Francisco Duque III, Caloocan City Mayor Oscar Malapitan, USAID Philippines Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II, and other U.S. and Philippine officials.

The embassy said the new assistance will support the Philippines in strengthening the vaccine supply chain, monitoring vaccine safety, and delivering effective communication campaigns to address vaccine hesitancy.

It will also support local government units as they plan for, track, and administer vaccines, it added.

“While the pandemic has tested our peoples and our economies, the strong bonds between Americans and Filipinos will help us rise above this challenge,” Law said.

“We will continue to fight this unprecedented global health crisis together,” he added.

The latest assistance fund brings the total U.S. government support for the Philippines’ COVID-19 response to nearly P1.3 billion ($27 million), the embassy said.

Meanwhile, the embassy further reported that the White House recently announced a P194 billion ($4 billion) commitment to support the COVAX facility.

COVAX Facility is a global initiative to support early vaccine access for 92 countries, including the Philippines.

An initial P97.2-billion ($2 billion) contribution, provided through USAID, is supporting the purchase and delivery of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, the embassy said.

The Philippines has so far administered over 1.2 million vaccine doses out of the more than 3 million doses that were delivered in the country.

Government data showed that 1,093,651 people received their first shot while 162,065 individuals already got two doses since the vaccination program started on March 1.

 

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