HA NOI -- More than 70 per cent of maternal mortality cases occur during pregnancy and birth, said Nguyen Duy Khe, director of the Ministry of Health's Department of Mother and Child Health Protection.
According to research, the maternal mortality rate among women having a third child is three times higher than among those having their second or first.
As many as 40 per cent of maternal mortalities take place when women give birth at home or on their way to hospital.
Reducing maternal and newborn mortality rates in remote mountainous provinces, three times higher than in plain areas, is especially hard due to obstacles in access, Khe saido.
Last Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan called on the Ministry of Health to join hands with hospitals to research possible reasons for maternal deaths and to reorganise and strengthen the system of reproductive health care.
The health sector was further urged to focus on better utilising obstetrics first aid technology and increase public awareness initiatives.