Expert calls for greater attention for drug that stops bleeding during birth

Ms Milka Dinev, Representative of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC) has insisted that all actors in the reproductive and maternal health commodity supplies chain should accord the same attention and quality assurance bestowed on beverage beer to Oxytocin to save lives. 

Oxytocin is a firstline drug used to curtail post-partum haemorrhage (PPH -Bleeding) during birth. Misoprostol, Ergometrine and Magnesium sulphate are other drugs used to stop excessive bleeding during child birth.

Ms Dinev, also Technical Leader of Maternal Health Supplies Caucus, said these at the training section of selected members of the African Health Journalists Association participating in the 18th General Membership Meeting of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC) in Brussels, Belgium.

She said “Like we cherish our beer fresh, Oxytocin is like beer, keep it safe at that preferred temperature so it does not lose its taste, which means a human life will be at stake, when the vaccine flats.”

Globally, she said, maternal mortality rates has dropped by 43 percent since 1990 however in 2015 alone 300,000 women still died due to complications of pregnancy and child birth or trying to give life.

Ms Dinev said 99 percent of those deaths occurred in developing business, though most of those deaths were preventable.

She said supply and cold-chain deficiencies contributed to poor quality of PPH, unavailable stock, counterfeit products compromises the quality of products exposing pregnant women to unwarranted and needless deaths.

According to the WHO, Oxytocin which should be stored under two to eight degree Celsius has largely been violated, rendering the drug impotent at the point of use.

She therefore called for quality life-saving medicines, policies, systems and programmes to ensure that quality essential maternal health medicines were available for every birth where ever that took place.

Ghana ended the 2017 year with a maternal mortality rate of 319 per 100,000 live births according to the Ghana Health Service.

Studies in 2015 have shown the ineffectiveness of the application of oxytocin in six regions by the Centre for Pharmaceutical Advancement and Training, which suggested stringent measures to reverse the trend.

Ms Elizabeth Westley, Representative of International Consortium for Emergency Contraception said tender issues and supply chain failures have rendered medical products for reproductive and maternal health delivery.

She urged the public sector and duty bearers to reprioritize the safety of reproductive and maternal health commodities to stop the many unwarranted deaths by women and children.

Ms Westley said since pharmacy shops and stores were the frontline facilities for the purchase of drugs and contraceptives, it behoved state apparatus to come to the protection of the people stating “Quality issues are explosive matters but must be dealt with”. 

She noted that counterfeit brands including emergency contraceptive commodities were flooding the markets ostensibly from India and China without certification and suspected inefficiency levels.

Several studies are being undertaken, others on trial for the efficient way of dealing with excessive bleeding by pregnant women at giving life and these were expected to ameliorate the situation globally, she stated

Source: GNA

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