The Pan American Health Organization(PAHO) has called on countries in the Americas to step up efforts to ensure access to prenatal care services for pregnant women at the time of Covid0 19.
In a new Epidemiological Alert, PAHO said “recently published results and studies based on COVID-19 surveillance data have indicated an increased risk among pregnant women of presenting with severe forms of COVID-19 and, therefore, of being hospitalized and admitted to intensive care units.”
The Organisation said that 28,387 cases of COVID-19 in pregnant women and 356 deaths were reported in ten countries from January. The PAHO said that the available data suggested that pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing a severe form of COVID-19. This could also lead to the death in some cases, it said and added that the countries should address specific risks and vulnerabilities faced by pregnant women. It should be ensured that pregnant women are given continuity of prenatal care services. Moreover, timely attention should also be given to severe signs and symptoms among pregnant women with COVID-19.
It said that the countries should intensify efforts to ensure access to prenatal care services, as well as to implement preventive measures to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with COVID-19 across all levels of the health system. It said that priority should be given to diagnostic tests for pregnant women as they are at a higher risk for developing severe forms of the disease and require hospitalization at some point during their pregnancy.