BANJUL, June 5 (Xinhua) -- The 2017 report presented by the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) published Tuesday in Banjul showed that the number of maternal deaths is bigger in the region than that of all tropical diseases combined, including malaria and tuberculosis.
Director of Planning, Research and Health Information at WAHO, Salifou Zouma, told regional delegates during the presentation that 14 countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) with the exception of Cape Verde, reported a total of 5,084 maternal deaths in health care settings.
"Although underestimated due to insufficient reporting, the number of maternal deaths is much higher than the total number of deaths caused by all epidemic-prone diseases in the region," he said.
He said the latest available estimates showed that malaria incidence is among at-risk populations in the ECOWAS region and among the highest in the world. Tuberculosis also remains a major public health problem in the region.
"The estimated prevalence of the disease varies from 46 per 100 000 inhabitants in Togo to 374 per 100 000 in Guinea-Bissau in 2016, with 10 countries out of the 15 of the community having a level of incidence greater than 100 per 100 000 inhabitants," he said.
Regional health experts and ministers are meeting in Banjul for the 19th Ordinary Assembly of ECOWAS Health Ministers, which opened on Monday.