Hepatitis A and E prime reason for maternal deaths in Mumbai

According to the figures provided by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) health department, 135 pregnant women have lost their lives to the infection in last three years

In the last three years, while Mumbai has seen a dip in number of maternal deaths, there has been a steady rise in percentage of maternal deaths due to Hepatitis A and E.

According to the figures provided by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) health department, 135 pregnant women have lost their lives to the infection in last three years.

“In 2014-15, 319 cases of maternal deaths were registered, of which 42 were due to hepatitis A and E. In 2015-16, there were 311 maternal deaths, out of which 44 were of hepatitis A & E. In 2016-17, till December 2016, we have registered 237 maternal deaths, of which 49 were due to hepatitis A and E. Though we succeeded in reducing the numbers of maternal deaths in city, percentage of hepatitis A and E related maternal deaths are on the rise,” said Dr Padmaja Keskar, Executive Health Officer, BMC.

Both Hepatitis A and E is a viral infection that is transmitted via fecal-oral route. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, high fever, yellow discolouration of eyes and urine.

“Hepatitis A and E infection during pregnancy can be fatal. One needs to take utmost care and ensure personal hygiene is maintained. One should also be careful on what they eat out,” said Dr Rishma Dhillon Pai, President, The Federation of Obstetric and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI).

Doctors said Hepatitis A and E cases are generally on rise in May and June.

“Pregnant women fall under high risk categories for Hepatitis A & E as their immunity is weak. This infection, if not treated on time, can be fatal to both the mother and child,” said Dr Pratit Samdani, Physician, Jaslok Hospital.

Health experts say, the cases of Hepatitis A and E are on the rise mainly due to the consumption of contaminated food and water. “All eatables should be consumed after proper cooking. Drinking water should be purified. It is also necessary to take appropriate medication and rest,” said Dr Samdhani.

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