Vaccine makes older mothers healthier – CNN

Written by Staff Writer CNN.com When the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK and Uganda’s Ministry of Health, 2014 offered free maternal and child health care to older mothers, it was hailed…

Vaccine makes older mothers healthier - CNN

Written by Staff Writer

CNN.com

When the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK and Uganda’s Ministry of Health, 2014 offered free maternal and child health care to older mothers, it was hailed as a milestone in access to healthcare for the poor.

The program aimed to convince older mothers to give birth outside of the traditional institutional setting and enroll in outpatient care, without adding financial burdens.

Echoing this year’s selection of “strong maternal and child health systems” as the winning theme for the annual UNDP Human Development Report, the “Traditionally Paid Approach: A Safe Birth for Older Mothers” pilot proved to be an efficient model of health care for pregnant women over 40, according to newly released research.

Through the pilot, 8,000 mothers of infants enrolled in Uganda’s pilot, and received antenatal care as well as, at some point, the mama-moa vaccine, an injection of piperacillin, to prevent neonatal biliary adenopathy, a blood disease that occurs when the bile is unable to reach the liver, resulting in a buildup of fluid in the liver.

The pilot report also revealed that mothers with experienced midwives were overrepresented among recipients of the vaccine compared to those with untrained midwives, who participated less frequently.

Data suggests that improving access to life-saving vaccines that reduce health outcomes for women and infants remains critical.

According to a 2016 survey by the World Health Organization, adolescents aged 15 to 19 years were the second-most adversely affected demographic group by vaccine inequity, accounting for 15.5% of all under-five deaths in that age group.

Despite close to 3,000 deaths in 2015, however, no countries currently immunize teenagers against measles and the numbers of adolescents receiving vaccines remains far below those for adults.

In Uganda, 61% of all adolescents aged 15-19 years were vaccinated, compared to 80% for adults aged 20 to 49 years, and only 9% of adolescents were vaccinated against pneumonia.

On average, children are 12 times more likely to die from vaccine-preventable diseases than those older than age 2, according to WHO.

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