Experts seek strengthened sexual and reproductive services in Southeast Asia

World Health Organisation

Kathmandu, January 21

An expert group has called for strengthening and expanding sexual and reproductive health services in member countries of WHO South-East Asia Region, to reduce deaths of mothers and babies.

The World Health Organization says the death rates continue to be at unacceptable levels in these countries despite recent substantial declines.

The South-East Asia region includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Timor-Leste.

“We must focus on neglected sexual and reproductive health issues such as post pregnancy family planning, comprehensive abortion care, and prevention and management of cervical cancer,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia, at the South-East Asia Region’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meeting for women’s and children’s health in New Delhi last week.

On the occasion, the official stated that preventable maternal mortality and stillbirths were interlinked and interdependent, adding that the right mix of quality services and high coverage of essential interventions, particularly around the time of birth can save lives of many mothers and their newborns, and reduce stillbirths.

Progressive and significant increase in institutional deliveries in the region offer a good opportunity to build on further efforts, according to her.

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