Palestinian mothers 'lack access to obstetric care'

Political unrest in Palestine makes it difficult for mothers and newborn babies to receive the necessary levels of medical care after birth, it has been claimed.

According to Dr Hanan Abdul Rahim of Birzeit University in Palestine, and associates, lives cannot be saved without access to 24 hour curative services to deal with unpreventable complications.

Writing for the Lancet, the authors claim that improving access to care requires a political solution of "unrestricted mobility" – something which is needed given that infant mortality rates have not improved since 1990.

The authors state that while pregnant women often benefit from antenatal care and skilled attendance at birth, a lack of emergency obstetric treatment causes difficulties for new mothers.

Continuing, the authors say: "Availability of emergency obstetric care and high-quality birth attendance for all depends on a strengthened health system, which can only be achieved through a concerted effort and the commitment of the Palestinian National Authority, donors, and political decision makers to overcome the external and health-system constraints."

The Lancet reports that the birth rate in Palestine is among the highest in the world - with each adult woman giving birth to an average of 4.5 children during their lifetime.ADNFCR-2094-ID-19064489-ADNFCR