An author by the name Nicholas D Kristof wrote that “Maternal health generally gets minimal attention because those who die or suffer injuries overwhelmingly start with three strikes against them: They are female, they are poor, and they are rural.” Putting the perspective on the Kenyan woman, I could not agree more. Health is an important cross-cutting policy issue not only domestically, but also in the international arena. It is a precondition and an outcome and an indicator of all three dimensions of sustainable development which are economic, social and environmental prosperity for all.

Tennis superstar Serena Williams revealed she needed an emergency C-section and had multiple surgeries after giving birth to her daughter Alexis.

The day after the operation, she got terribly sick, and doctors found several small clots in her lungs.

Then she suffered another terrifying scare when her C-section scar popped open and medics found a large hematoma had flooded her abdomen. The sports star has a history of blood clots, so she was the one who raised the alarm after she found herself feeling short of breath 24 hours after becoming a mother. Serena was found to have a pulmonary embolism, and the coughing it caused meant her C-section wound popped open.

Better data can save the lives of Texas mothers.

What makes Texas famous? Ranches? Oil? Breakfast tacos?

These days, the question worth asking is what makes Texas infamous. The Lone Star State has started making headlines across the globe for maternal mortality.

It's true that far too many Texas mothers die during pregnancy or within a year following giving birth and that African-American Texans are at greatest risk. However, a new study has found that the data underlying these disturbing headlines is imprecise, with the study's co-author noting that she was surprised at "just how bad the data was" ("Bid to halt maternal deaths hurt by bad data," Page A1, Jan. 4).

A large prospective study published in Brain Sciences has found that suboptimal maternal cholesterol levels, in particular low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, may increase the risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in offspring. 

Yuelong Ji, MS, MSPH, of the Center on Early Life Origins of Disease, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, and colleagues also found that the male fetus appears to be more vulnerable to maternal cholesterol levels.

By Lizellen La Follette, Marin IJ correspondent

Although the United States spends more on health care than any other country in the world, more than two women die every day during childbirth, making maternal mortality the highest in the U.S. compared with 49 other countries in the developed world. Studies show the U.S. maternal mortality increased more than 26 percent from 19 (per 100,000 births) in 2000 to 24 in 2014. Today, U.S. maternal mortality ratio is roughly 26 (per 100,000 births), with California continuing to show a declining trend, and Texas the highest number of pregnancy-related deaths (not only in the U.S., but the entire developed world).

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Kantor

Pusat Kebijakan dan Manajemen Kesehatan (PKMK)
Fakultas Kedokteran, Kesehatan Masyarakat dan Keperawatan (FKKMK)
Universitas Gadjah Mada

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