Friday, 28 September 2012

Watch these excellent talks on maternal health

Earlier this month an International Symposium on Maternal Health was held in Dublin, organised by the Committee for Excellence in Maternal Healthcare, which is chaired by pro-life veteran Professor Eamonn O'Dwyer. The symposium featured many valuable presentations, all of which have been posted on YouTube - see below for a selection. Thanks to Fiorella Nash, an SPUC speaker on maternal health, for highlighting these for me:

Dr Jean Kagia, a top obstetrician from Kenya, spoke on "Improving maternal healthcare in Kenya: challenges and strategies for low resource nations". She spoke about the lack of resources, the struggle to encourage doctors to stay in Kenya, and the wastage of resources funding wars and corruption:

Dr Frédéric Amant, a leading specialist in gynaecological oncology, spoke on "Cancer treatment during pregnancy". He looked at recent studies which show an equally good prognosis for both pregnant and non-pregnant women being treated for cancer, the various treatments available to pregnant women and the safety of the unborn baby:

Dr. Byron Calhoun, an American professor and specialist in maternal-foetal medicine, spoke on "Perinatal hospice: comprehensive care model for families with fatal prenatal diagnosis". He looked at studies which show the negative psychological effect of abortion in these cases and the need for parents to have time with their babies even when they have a terminal diagnosis:

Dr Priscilla Coleman, a world-leading expert on the mental health aspect of abortion, spoke on "The Relative Safety of Abortion vs. Childbirth: A Focus on Psychological Morbidity and Mortality". Her presentation is very valuable, not least because the subject continues to be so contentious:

Dr John Monaghan, a leading Irish obstetrician and gynaecologist, spoke on "A Safe Place: Achieving Excellence in Irish Maternal Healthcare". He looks at the history of Ireland’s excellent maternal health system and makes various interesting comparisons between the situation in Ireland and the UK. Maternal mortality has increased in Ireland as in other western countries because of issues such as older maternal age and IVF-related complications such as multiple pregnancies. Also, unlike the Republic of Ireland, the UK has a massive recruitment shortage in obstetrics and gynaecology, raising the question as to whether abortion is putting junior doctors off:

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