Overview: Dr. Timothy Johnson Lecture for the Global Scholars Program
By Nora Dagher
Last Friday Jan. 31, the Global Scholars Program hosted a lecture by Dr. Timothy Johnson, an OBGYN focused on global issues surrounding maternal and child health. Johnson's primary field work focuses on maternal and child health in Ghana as well as analyses on women's issues in many third world nations. Johnson outlined that in this day and age of medical advancements, it is unacceptable for maternal mortality rates to be so high. The highest maternal mortality rates are in Afghanistan and the Gaza strip, well known war zones. More than 50% of all deaths occur in countries like India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Johnson compared maternal mortality rates at U-M hospital with rates in Ghana. In a single night at a village clinic there were 10 maternal deaths in childbirth, compared to one death from childbirth every 2 to 3 years at UM. In the U.S. if a woman dies in childbirth it is rare and seen as medical malpractice. In Ghana and other war-torn or devastated areas, it is widely known that mothers may not make it back alive from the journey that is childbirth. There is an unspoken culture of acceptance. Frequent issues involving maternal deaths from childbirth are: ectopic pregnancy, abortion, obstructed labor or postpartum hemorrhage. Oftentimes, there is a lack of accessible treatment and poor access to safe cesarean sections, leading to deadly scenarios that are preventable in developed nations. There is a large risk of death by blood loss, and women with HIV in these areas are at a greater risk for infection. In many parts of the world women don't count and there is no one to speak out for them in the political sphere. Ultimately, maternal mortality is a global burden and one that should not be ignored. Maternal mortality is a human rights and social justice issue requiring activism and cognizance from the world community.
(image link: http://obgyn.med.umich.edu/contact/news/timothy-johnson)
WELCOME, UMICH SCIENTISTAS!
SORT BY TAG
The Network for Pre-Professional Women in Science and Engineering
The Scientista Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) -- Donate!