Maternal mortality and morbidity – a threat to human rights

Maternal mortality means the rate of maternal death per thousand mother in a year, and Morbidity means the condition of the mother which is very near to death. This two condition are the serious medical problems worldwide , specifically in 3rd world countries. For this reason maternal mortality and morbidity continue to be a serious human rights concern .It is estimated that 287000 women died of maternal causes in 2010.

There is increased understanding that this is a human rights crisis that stems from discrimination against women, which manifests, for example,

–    In violence against women,

–    Underprioritisation and underfunding of services and goods that only women require,

–    Lack of accountability mechanisms to respond to maternal deaths and injuries.

Human rights approach to Maternal mortality and morbidity and current guidance :

A human rights-based approach to maternal mortality and morbidity has been advocated by human rights experts for many years, and has also gained traction among public health experts and other professionals. An important example of this evolution is the 2012 report of the independent Expert Review Group, which was mandated to monitor progress on the UN Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health and included a specific recommendation on human rights.

Making human rights a reality on the ground is multidisciplinary work, and our common objectives of ensuring better health, improved living standards, and full protection of rights for women will be met only when we strengthen the bridges between sectors. The 2012 Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights entitled Technical guidance on the application of a human rights-based approach to the implementation of policies and programs to reduce preventable maternal mortality and morbidity, is a tool that can be used to reinforce these crucial partnerships. This guidance was welcomed by the Human Rights Council in a resolution adopted by consensus, which requested that I report back in 2 years on how this new tool is being used by states and other stakeholders. The guidance translates human rights norms and standards into concrete policy action and aims to make human rights more accessible and practical for policy makers.

The guidance begins with general principles that include: recognition of health in a broad sense and not only isolated pathologies; the need for attention to the social determinants of women’s health and; special attention to women who are subject to multiple forms of discrimination and have increased rates of maternal

Mortality and morbidity as a result. The guidance emphasizes that women are not passive beneficiaries but active rights holders who are entitled to take part in a meaningful way in matters that relate to their sexual and reproductive health. It also makes clear that human rights principles of non-discrimination/equality, transparency, participation, and accountability should inform the design, organization, and coordination of WHO’s six components of the health system (service delivery; health workforce; information; medical products, vaccines, and technologies; financing; and leadership and governance).

As a core obligation under human rights law, the adoption of a national plan of action or strategy is an important first step in meeting human rights obligations. The guidance details what issues should be covered in such a plan (eg, access to essential medi­cines and interventions), with specific steps towards ensuring universal access and addressing disparities in access. It also outlines process requirements to ensure a broadly participatory process with review mechanisms to assess implementation.

 Maternal mortality and morbidity

In terms of the budget, human rights require states to devote the maximum available resources towards the realization of economic and social rights, and specific advice is offered to assess whether the maximum of available resources has been allocated to sexual and reproductive health, through a transparent and participatory process.

With regard to implementation, the guidance examines concrete examples of identified problems, using a diagnostic exercise of asking critical questions to reveal human rights concerns and gaps in accountability. Meaningful participation is particularly critical in this exercise of asking questions. By exposing root causes of problems, including system failures, this exercise assists policy makers in designing responses that comply with human rights obligations.

Monitoring and data collection are critical dimen­sions of accountability and must include examination of quantitative and qualitative indicators. The gui­dance explains several forms of review and over­sight, pointing to the various levels of cross-sectoral accountability which are required. The guidance also emphasizes the central importance of effective remedies, without which accountability mechanisms will be insufficient; different forms of remedies might include restitution, compensation, satisfaction, or guarantees of non-repetition. Ensuring that remedies are effective means that states must raise awareness about rights related to women’s sexual and reproductive health not only among women but also among health professionals, lawyers, and the judiciary. Accountability mechanisms must be adequately resourced to fulfil their functions in line with human rights obligations.

The technical guidance concludes with advice on human rights requirements that pertain to international assistance and cooperation, counseling rights-based development policies, policy coherence, and predictable, harmonious, and transparent economic assistance.

Conclusion :

This technical guidance on a human rights-based approach to policies and programmes to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity is distinct in its holistic approach; it has implications not only for the ministry of health, but for planning commissions, ministries of finance, education, and infrastructure, as well as parliaments, national human rights institutions, health service providers, and civil society. The positive

reception of the guidance by the Human Rights Council gives it added importance in terms of the commitment of states to effectively ensure human rights related to maternal mortality and morbidity. Only through concerted efforts to work in partnership will we realize our mutual goal to eliminate preventable maternal mortality and morbidity, in line with human rights obligations. This technical guidance presents an opportunity to move from rhetoric to reality in implementing policies and programmes on the ground that explicitly work towards the realization of women’s human rights. Everyone has a part to play in making this happen.

Hope :

Not only human rights but also World health organization also wants to established the safe maternity with decreasing number of maternal mortality and morbidity. So consciousness around the all kinds of people throughout the whole world can reduce the number of maternal death and can present us a better future of healthy mother and healthy child.

mother & baby

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