President Gustavo Petro’s statements regarding maternal mortality rates continue to generate all kinds of comments.
The Head of State assured, by sharing a graph on his social networks, that “this is one of the best successes of my Government by reducing the maternal mortality rate in 4 months with a shock plan, one of the fundamental indicators of the Health”.
The president defined it as an important “achievement” during his administration.
However, the epidemiologist, professor and researcher Julián Fernández Niño questioned the statements made by Petro on his social networks.
First, he criticized the presentation prepared by the Ministry of Health on the subject: “I am sharing a link to the complete presentation made today by the Ministry of Health in the Seventh Commission. An ugly presentation, looking 40 years old, outdated, and recycling ‘the professors’ slides from decades ago,” he wrote.
“There is a lack of local evidence on access barriers and there is concern about the professionalism with which diagnoses are being made. The supposed graph of maternal mortality did not even graph the reasons, it shows technical improvisation, which is a very sensitive issue (…) there is a diagnosis that is not precise and careless. It seems that primary care in the country had not existed for 30 years,” said Fernández.
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In the same way, he stressed that “it is also early to talk about the impact of policies or programs, this because there is a lag”, among others, “administrative, of the registry, because there are mortality figures that have not yet been fully consolidated”.
In the same sense, the research director of the Faculty of Medicine of the Universidad de los Andes, Luis J. Hernández, trilled that “actions cannot be directly attributed from the second semester of 2022; however, in public health it is not convenient to make public policy by counting mortalities”.
He also pointed out that “The reduction in maternal mortality, according to the National Institute of Health, for a preliminary 2022 is 42.4 cases per 100,000 live births, it cannot be compared with 2020 and 2021, because they were pandemic years, it is returning to the values of 2018 and 2019 between 42-46 cases per 100 thousand live births”.
Then the president responded to the observations of the specialists and showed a graph where he explained that these are preliminary data and spoke of the shock plan to deal with maternal mortality and described it as follows: deployment of 10 advisers, actions of the Superintendency, meetings with EPS, IPS and participation even of international organizations.