Global report reveals rise in pregnancy-related deaths in Botswana

According to a new study, giving birth in Botswana has gotten less safe for mothers over the the past two decades


The Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factors (GBD) 2015 study which was conducted by more than 1800 researchers in nearly 130 countries shows that, women giving birth in Botswana are less safe today than they were some 25 years ago.
According to the study that was released last week, the ratio of maternal deaths grew from 74 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 118 in 2015. Globally, the ratio of maternal deaths fell 30% over the same time period, from 282 to 196 per 100,000 live births.
1 550 children under the age of 5 died in 2015, a ratio of 28.2 deaths per 1,000 live births. This ratio has been falling by 2.6 % each year since 1990. On the global level, 5.8 million children under age 5 died in 2015, representing a 52% decline in the number of under-5 deaths since 1990.
In Botswana, leading causes of death in 2015 were HIV/AIDS and HIV/AIDS/TB, ischaemic heart disease, TB and lower respiratory infections, while the top nonfatal causes of health loss are HIV/AIDS, iron-deficiency anaemia, major depression, diabetes and lower back pain.
The study further shows that much of people’s health is determined by risk factors, some of which are within one’s control. In 2015, unsafe sex, high fasting plasma glucose, high systolic blood pressure, high body-mass index and alcohol use were linked to the greatest health loss in Botswana.
Nonetheless, the study also shows that life expectancy in Botswana has increased in the past decade. While women could expect to live 50.8 years and men 47.9 years in 2005, by 2015, women’s life expectancy was 62 and men’s was 55.8.
Improvements in sanitation, immunizations, indoor air quality, and nutrition have also enabled children in poor countries to live longer over the past 25 years, according to a new scientific analysis of more than 300 diseases and injuries in 195 countries and territories.
However, the report also shows that such progress is  threatened by increasing numbers of people suffering serious health challenges related to obesity, high blood sugar, and alcohol and drug abuse.