Pregnant deaths from COVID-19 in Sub Saharan Africa


                              Pregnant deaths from COVID-19 in Sub Saharan Africa



A new multicenter study surrounding six countries in Africa reported that people who are pregnant and hospitalized with covid-19 are dying at a larger rate when compared to pregnant people who don’t have covid or people who have covid but are not pregnant. University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health infectious diseases epidemiologist led the research which was published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The data which was collected from women of child-bearing age who were hospitalized during the time period between March 2020 and March 2021 studied the results of more than 1300 female patients in one of the six African countries. The three categories of the study included COVID-19 affected pregnant women, COVID-19 affected non-pregnant women, pregnant women without COVID-19 and the six countries included were Ghana, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, and  the Democratic Republic of the Congo

It was noted that pregnant women with COVID-19 had double the rate of ICU admissions and supplemental oxygen usage along with a five times greater death rate according to the research.

Even tuberculosis and HIV rates are higher in Sub-Saharan Africa when compared to U.S. With regards to this the team also examined the effect of these infections on their study subjects as previously published studies showed conflicting results. The result reported doubled risk of ICU care for both pregnant and non-pregnant women with HIV or with a history of TB.

John W. Mellors, M.D., who is the co-author of the study and also the chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases in Pitt's School of Medicine said that there is a severe risk of COVID-9 during pregnancy due to HIV and TB infections which imposes the necessity for prenatal vaccination against COVID-19.

Nachega, a faculty at Stellenbosch University in South Africa along with being a part of Pitt Public Health informed that the false information surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine which causes hesitancy should be treated as a global issue even though slight progress has been noted with regards to the vaccine supply quantity increase in Africa. Fellow researchers along with Nachega highlighted the fact in order to improve mother and infant care and results, we need to target COVID-19 vaccinations to this population in an editorial that was published alongside the study.

Nachega also talked about how all the false information and conjecture around the COVID-19 vaccine on various social media and other platforms have contributed to the low vaccine uptake and pertaining hesitancy which includes infertility or even fetal harm. Therefore, he feels that as much as resources are being directed toward vaccination promotion it is also important to stop the spreading of misinformation among people on these platforms.

Previous Post Next Post