Kuala Lumpur (The Star/ANN) - Worried at the stagnant rate of death of infants and mothers during childbirth, the Malaysian government yesterday ordered authorities concerned to investigate such deaths and submit reports.
It was worrying that the rate of infants who die during birth had remained stagnant for the past few years instead of declining, Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai said yesterday.
The number of mothers who died during childbirth had also not reduced over the years.
Since the infant and maternal mortality rates had not shown any decline, Liow said, each death should be taken seriously and investigated.
"I have asked for the outcome of each investigation to be submitted to the ministry," said Liow.
He added that the infant mortality rate was six deaths per 1,000 live births.
"This number should drop but it has remained the same for several years," he said in his speech at the Hospital Kuala Lumpur's (HKL) International Nurses Day 2012 celebration here Wednesday night.
Liow said during a recent visit to Turkey, he found the country's healthcare had improved and caught up with Malaysia's standards.
"Turkey's maternal mortality rate is even lower than ours. In Malaysia, the number of mothers who die during childbirth is 28 per 100,000 live births, while in Turkey, the death rate is 25," he said.
On another matter, he said Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was eager to visit HKL since its two new wards had been completed.
"The ministry will be upgrading the IT system in the hospital so that medical work can be carried out more efficiently," Liow said.