Substance use among pregnant women is a perennial problem in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. There are many influential elements related with substance use among women of childbearing-age. Factors associated with substance use during pregnancy were explored using qualitative research approach and bio-ecological theoretical framework was utilised to guide the study. Participants were selected using purposive sampling. Participants accessed from the Department of Social Development who met the inclusion criteria of the study were interviewed using semi structured interviews. Participants were referred for psychological intervention during the interview if deemed necessary. Braun and Clarke’s six phases of thematic analysis were used to analyse the data. The study adhered to ethical measures for the participants’ protection. Participants had been knowledgeable about the study earlier than the initiation of the interviews and the important points of their voluntary participation had been explained. The key findings from this study illustrate that social factors, individual area and romantic relationship are the major contributing factors to substance use among pregnant ladies in this sample. Recommendations arising from the study encompass that the stakeholders, rehabilitation centers, Department of Health and future researchers ought to act proactively against substance use all through pregnancy.
Discrimination against women and girls impairs progress in all domains of development articulated either in the framework of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) or in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Paper aspires to create greater awareness among researchers and policy makers of the challenges posed by gender gaps and the opportunities created by reducing them within the Arab region. The study reveals how Arab countries are closing in on gender-oriented targets of the third and fifth MDGs. While some countries can claim remarkable achievements particularly in girls’ equality in education, there is still a long way to go to keep Arab’s commitments to current and future generations in other countries and subregions especially in the economic participation or in the political empowerment of women. No country has closed or even expected to close the economic participation gap or the political empowerment gap. This should provide the incentive to keep moving forward in the Post-2015 Agenda. Findings of the study prove that while Arab states have uneven achievements in reducing maternal mortality, Arab women remain at a disadvantage in the labour market. For Arab region especially LDCs, improving maternal health is part of the unmet agenda for the post-2015 period and still calls for intensified efforts and procedures. While antenatal care coverage is improving across the Arab region, progress is marginal in LDCs. To achieve proper realization of gender equality and empowerment of women in the Arab region in the post-2015 agenda, the study presents critical key challenges to be addressed. These challenges include: Negative cultural norms and stereotypes; violence against women and girls; early marriage and child labour; women’s limited control over their own bodies; limited ability of women to generate their own income and control assets and property; gender-based discrimination in law and in practice; women’s unequal participation in private and public decision making autonomy; and limitations in data. However, in all Arab states, gender equality must be integrated as a goal across all issues, particularly those that affect the future of a country.
In Brazil, neonatal mortality rate is considered incompatible with the country development conditions, and has been a Public Health concern. Reduction in infant mortality rates has also been part of the Millennium Development Goals, a commitment made by countries, members of the Organization of United Nations (OUN), including Brazil. Fetal mortality rate is considered a highly sensitive indicator of health care quality. Suitable actions, such as good quality and access to health services may contribute positively towards reduction in these fetal and neonatal rates. With appropriate antenatal follow-up and health care during gestation and delivery, some death causes could be reduced or even prevented by means of early diagnosis and intervention, as well as changes in risk factors and interventions. Objectives: To study the quality of maternal and infant health care based on fetal and neonatal mortality, as well as the possible actions to prevent those deaths in Botucatu (Brazil). Methods: Classification of prevention according to the International Classification of Diseases and the modified Wigglesworth´s classification. In order to evaluate adequacy, indicators of quality of antenatal and delivery care were established by the authors. Results: Considering fetal deaths, 56.7% of them occurred before delivery, which reveals possible shortcomings in antenatal care, and 38.2% of them were a result of intra- labor changes, which could be prevented or reduced by adequate obstetric management. These findings were different from those in the group of early neonatal deaths which were also studied. Adequacy of health services showed that antenatal and childbirth care was appropriate for 24% and 33.3% of pregnant women, respectively, which corroborates the results of prevention. These results revealed that shortcomings in obstetric and antenatal care could be the causes of deaths in the study. Early and late neonatal deaths have similar characteristics: 76% could be prevented or reduced mainly by adequate newborn care (52.9%) and adequate health care for gestational women (11.7%). When adequacy of care was evaluated, childbirth and newborn care was adequate in 25.8% and antenatal care was adequate in 16.1%. In conclusion, direct relationship was found between adequacy and quality of care rendered to pregnant women and newborns, and fetal and infant mortality. Moreover, our findings highlight that deaths could be prevented by an adequate obstetric and neonatal management.