Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

WHO Day Celebration on April 7th this year

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): March 27, 1998 - The World Health Organization (WHO) has called its member states to celebrate the 50th anniversary of WHO Day on April 7, 1998, according to Dr. S.K. Ahn, WHO representative for the South Pacific.

"The FSM President is expected to proclaim April 7, 1998, as World Health Day 1998, urging for its appropriate observance throughout the FSM."

The theme for this year's celebration is, "Pregnancy is Special: Let's Make It Safe," owing to the promotion of the health of mothers and children as a central feature of WHO's Constitution adopted by its member state in 1946.

This year's WHO anniversary marks the 10th anniversary of the Safe Motherhood Initiative with the theme "Safe Motherhood."

The FSM Department of health, Education and Social Affairs is urging the State Departments of Health to participate in this year's celebration by sponsoring production and displays of drawings of local cultural practices that support mothers in positive ways during pregnancy, childbirth and/or post-period; drawing contests on safe motherhood; TV, radio or newspaper advertisement on health related programs; panel discussions, and song composed by youth to promote safe motherhood.

The American Association for World Health (AAWH) Project Director also communicated to the FSM Department of Health, Education and Social Services the organization's support for the promotion activities for the World Health Day 1998 and its theme safe Motherhood.

An AAWH brochure shows that in nearly two out of every five deliveries, the woman experiences a complication such as high blood pressure, serious lacerations, obstructed labor, hemorrhage, uterine infection, diabetes or Cesarean delivery, and every two to four women die from pregnancy-related complications.

WHO estimates that about 600,000 women worldwide die each year as result of complications during pregnancy and childbirth.

AAWH's facts show that half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended. More than 80 percent of teen pregnancies are unintended. Lack of prenatal care poses a major challenge for the Hispanic-about 30 percent of Hispanic women do not receive early prenatal care.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356