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Maternal health efforts fall short

Two large investigations of maternal health programs, including one carried out by the United Nations (UN) report that the efforts to save the lives of mothers in developing nations by spending billions of dollars seemed almost useless, thus raising questions about the money being spent.

However, the critics are actually calling for the expensive global initiatives to be revamped, the programs are still carried out in spite of the evidence they work.

The programs mostly involve activities such as ensuring pregnant women get cheap medicines such as pre-emptive antibiotics for women getting a cesarean section or magnesium sulphate to treat labor complications.

Health officials will ask donors for more money to invest into maternal health programs at an international meeting of U.N. partners starting in South Africa on Monday.

Since 2009, United States has invested more than 13 billion dollars in child and maternal survival, expecting to save numerous lives by backing high-impact health interventions.

According to the research papers, including one conducted in 30 countries that monitored more than 300,000 women, scientists discovered that there was no link between the life-saving interventions and death rates of women giving birth.

Moreover, areas that utilized the life-saving interventions did not have better survival rates for mothers when compared with areas that didn't.

Last year, the two papers published are the biggest to evaluate the efficacy of maternal health strategies, though smaller studies have earlier indicated the methods help, however they could not gain much, maybe because there does not seem to be an easy fix.

On the other hand, experts have failed to understand as to why their methods failed to avert deaths. According to some experts, the current plans must be adjusted.