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17% of pregnant Indian women suffer from obesity and diabetes

17% of the pregnant women in India suffer from obesity and diabetes and carry a high risk of transferring the diseases to their babies

At least 17 per cent of the pregnant women in India are suffering from obesity and diabetes and carry a high risk of transferring the diseases to their babies, leading gynaecologist said on Friday.

According to experts, hospital delivery has increased from 40 per cent to 80 per cent in the last five years but the maternal mortality rate is still 139 per 100,000 in India.

“It is important for the people to know that 17 per cent of pregnant women are suffering from obesity and diabetes, which carry the risk of transferring the diseases to baby,” said C.N. Purandare, Chairperson of International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO).

Purandare was speaking at the inauguration of a three-day conference on “Best Practices, Breakthroughs and Current Dilemmas in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (OBGYC)” here.

The conference is being organised by the Federation of Obstetric & Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI) and FIGO.

With over 300 experts addressing 1,200 delegates, the conference will include crucial issues like female foeticide and unsafe abortion.

“The Indian government had banned abortion in ’70s, in spite of this abortion is still prevalent across the country,” said Purandare, adding that besides abortion, several deaths occur due to cervical cancer in India.

Alka Kriplani, gynaecology academic at AIIMS and President of FOGSI, said, “There have been several recent advances in the management of infertility, cancer, safe motherhood, neonatal care and many more. Maternal mortality and prenatal mortality has shown significant reduction due to good quality antenatal care, hospital deliveries and effective referral of high-risk cases.”

Hema Divakar, FOGSI’s Ambassador to FIGO, said: “More than 75,000 women die every single year due to cervical cancer compared to only 300 women in the West. This is because our women are diagnosed in advance stages where we cannot save lives.”

“Since the screening programme in the early detection is not efficient in our country the best option is to vaccinate all women between 9-45 years to decrease the burden of cervical cancer in generation next,” she said.

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