In Cameroon, in 2018, out of 100,000 pregnant women, 99,533 survived childbirth. Seven years earlier, only 99,218 survived. This is revealed by the demographic and health survey conducted by the National Institute of Statistics. Between 2011 and 2018, annual pregnancy-related deaths have thus been reduced by 40%, from 782 maternal deaths per 100,000 births in 2011 to 467 in 2018.
But, for the Minister of Economy (Alamine Ousmane Mey), this maternal mortality rate of 0.047% is still high. Therefore, "family planning is of great interest as an effective means to combat maternal mortality," he advised during the celebration of World Population Day on 11 July.
This year's World Population Day takes place in a particular context marked by the Covid-19, which affects women and girls more than men, as "most health and social workers are women.”
As the theme "Slowing the spread of Covid-19: how to protect the health and rights of women and girls today" chosen to celebrate that day suggests, the maternal mortality rate may rise due to the pandemic.
"With the safety measures enacted by the government and the World Health Organization, reproductive health services have lost their priority and supply chains disrupted with an impact on the availability and accessibility of contraceptive products," the Minister of Economy explained.
In response to the situation, Alamine Ousmane Mey says, the government is taking action with the support of its partners to help health districts improve reproductive health. For instance, he continued, there is the implementation of the Multisectoral Programme to Combat Maternal, Neonatal, Infant, and Child Mortality.