Gambia: Women dying due to pregnancy, childbirth drops

23 Apr
Gambian woman and child.

Gambian woman and child. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Lamin Jahateh

Maternal mortality has reduced by 59 per cent in The Gambia over the past fourteen years, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health has said quoting the findings of the Demographic Health Survey conducted nationwide.

Dr Makie Taal said the 2013 survey indicates a maternal mortality ratio of 433 per 100,000 live births which is a reduction of 59 per cent compared to the figure fourteen years ago.

He was speaking on Wednesday at a local hotel in Kololi during the beginning of a 2-day health research conference organized by the ministry in collaboration with the University of Oslo, Norway.

Dr Taal also said infant mortality ratio was 75 per 1,000 live births in 2005 but it has reduced to 34 per 1,000 live births in 2013.

Under-five mortality rate has also reduced from 75 per 1000 live births in 2005 to 99 per 1000 live births in 2013.

Dr Taal said despite these improvements, the burden of HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and some other non-communicable diseases still remain a challenge for the Gambian health sector.

He noted that the health system would become increasingly reliant on the results of health research so as to develop appropriate programmes towards addressing changing trends in disease epidemiology.


  • A version of this story first appeared on The Voice newspaper.
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