Medical expert urges couples to delay pregnancies

Pregnant woman

With COVID-19 claiming the lives of 40 expectant women, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, De Soyza Maternity Hospital (DMH), Dr. Harsha Atapattu appealed to married couples and even those with one or two children to delay getting pregnant by one year.

Addressing the Media at the Health Promotion Bureau (HPB) yesterday (8) Dr. Atapattu said, “One year is a long period in the medical world and it can change so many things with ongoing research on the coronavirus, the vaccines and all aspects related to the infection.

Therefore, consider using a family planning method for that one year and delay getting pregnant,” he appealed. Although the first and second waves of the coronavirus did not pose a threat to pregnant women and foetuses, the currently raging delta variant poses a risk to both. “The mother and the unborn child may both have to pay with their lives at this juncture,” he lamented.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) the global statistics of stillbirths amounted to 2 million in November 2020. The coronavirus would have more serious implications on this number by the end of this year, he noted. Formerly Medical Officers of Health (MOHs) and family health workers had maximum time to hold clinics for pregnant mothers. But now their time has to be given to battling against COVID and immunising against the virus.

Pregnant mothers too are either afraid to visit even their MoHs leave alone hospitals or are restricted to their homes due to travel restrictions. Dr. Atapattu urged all pregnant women to take the COVID vaccine without delay. A majority of those who have come to DMH with COVID complications are those who have not taken the vaccine, he lamented.

(Source: Ceylon Today – By Dilanthi Jayamanne)