HC Deb 28 January 2004 vol 417 c423W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of maternal mortality rates in refugee camps in Pakistan. [149996]

Mr. Gareth Thomas

A report by the Commonwealth Development Corporation covering the period from 1999 to 2000 found that 41 per cent. of deaths of Afghan refugee women of reproductive age in Pakistan were due to maternal causes. This exceeded the proportion of deaths related to any other cause for this group.

In response to the high levels of maternal mortality, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees runs basic health units in its camps for Afghan refugees. The health units include female health workers and doctors, who provide health care to pregnant refugees and advise women on all health issues. The improved access to health care has helped to reduce maternal deaths among refugee women.